Cable Car | The Lost Abbey

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Cable CarCable Car
BA SCORE
4.58/5
World-Class
1,024 Ratings
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by stephendr on 08-12-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#57
Reviews:
234
Ratings:
1,024
pDev:
7.86%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2,702
Gots:
104
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,024 |  Reviews: 234
Photo of jzeilinger
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

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

Photo of outoffocus
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of LoveStout
4.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of eawolff99
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.55/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Port Night at Toronado the week after their 21st anniversary party. This is batch #2, the 2008 one. I had a couple. Pours a totally opaque golden with almost no head and some spotty lacing. Carbonation level was fine, though. perhaps somewhat on the soft side but entirely within a normal range. The aromas are fairly light, nut a light funkinesss comes through as a does a clean sourness and a tang of brine. The taste is much more impressive and oddly addictive. There is a delicious savory component to the beer that is hard to place, but includes a tangy saltiness that really blends well with the funkiness and sour. It reminds me slightly of sprinkling salt on crab apples when I was a kid to make the sour and tannic flavors more palatable. Their is a nice soft funkiness up-front and some mellow sourness throughout. There is a bit off butterscotch here as well and a nice jolt of tannins in the finish. Complex, intriguing, and delicious. The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly tannic. I really enjoyed this on tap, but haven't tried it from a bottle yet.

 1,074 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer goes down perfectly, with each taste making you crave more. Smooth, mouth watering sour that has that special juicyness that few beers have. Definitely world class and standing on top.

 196 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Mild orange color, solid 1" of white head on it. Aroma was tart lemons, funk, astringent oak.

Taste was very sour, more lemon notes, more clean wood. Very similar to duck duck gooze. Hides alcohol well, plenty of carbonation and levity. Pucker inducing.

Another very good beer from Lost Abbey, but the scarcity business model is tired and realistically affects a beer score.

 383 characters

Photo of dar482
4.8/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a hazy bright straw yellow.

The aroma has funky hay, apricot, dried peach, and a decent tartness.

The flavor follows of tart lemons, stone fruit and nectarine, onto a medium minus malt backbone with a medium hay funk. There's a drying and tart quality in the back.

This is up there with the best gueuze I've had. It definitely holds back on the funk unlike Drie Fonteinen and Cantillon, but has a wonderful complexities and restraint.

 455 characters

Photo of epyon396
4.59/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of spinrsx
4.26/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Shared by pushkinwow - 2012 edition - thanks!

Appearance - Gold colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Breads/grains, lemons, vinegar

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, vinegar, tart lemons - both the juice and the zest. Also some hay/straw/funky notes and a bit of a peppery spice mix.

Overall - One of the most balanced beers within this style I have had so far. Very drinkable and extremely tasty. Happy I had the chance to try it.

 666 characters

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.

Re-review: 2009 vintage of Cable Car. Served in a stemmed glass 4/30/2016. Drinking this alongside a 2009 Duck Duck Gooze was a revelation. Both of these beers have aged quite well compared to their fresher components. This is still a well-rounded, aggressive wild ale, with a similar profile but more of ground peppercorn is there on the finish. Lemon and citrus, no green apple skin. Good complexity, nice oak and mellow dusty funk to it. This vintage seems to be a particularly good one or it just does well with time- may be a sign not to drink these too young.

 2,020 characters

Photo of enelson
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to trying this one. Into a mini Chimay Chalice.

Cable car has a very light appearance, the liquid appears thin and the color is a dull faded yellow with a smidgen of foam here and there, barely breaking the surface, mini streaks.

Smell is bold with a lot of fruit mixed in with horse blanket funk and hay. Lemon is by far the biggest scent I can sniff out, along with traces of pale malt. No sweetners to dull it down, nice. Not picking up any of that egg/sulfer scent that peeps were talking about.

Taste is up front with bold lemon and various similar fruit. The horseblanket/funk/wet hay is pronounced yet not over the top. Lactic sourness is there and I love it. Get some white grape taste in the end, with everything coming back together. To me, CC holds some similarities to an aged 750ML bottle of Cuvee De Castleton.

Feel is mad thin and dry which is what I look for in a great sour, so this is a winner in that arena. Bright carbonation with a lactic/lemon aftertaste and slight pale malt. I could drink a ton.

At the Alcohol level, a whole bottle of this would be a sinch to a sour lover, alas, thats never going to happen. Lost Abbey sure can brew some sours and CC is no slouch

 1,213 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 2; Sampled August 2008
Funky, cheesy and sour notes are quite noticeable as I pour this brew. An average pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost two finger thick, pale, white colored head that leaves some lacing on the sides of my glass. This has a little chill haze and a touch of permanent haze to it; it went into the cooler with only a slight haze. The beer is a murky, light amber color as it sits on my desk, but it shows an orangish copper hue when held up to the light. Wow, this is much more funky than I was expecting it to be, more funky than just about any other Lost Abbey brew. Ample butyric acid aromas of old, dried sweat laden blankets and cured leather are joined by funky-woody mushroom aromas, some definite farmhouse cheese notes (though this is somewhat soft), uriatic cat pee, fresh scraped lemon zest, oxidized peanuts. This is all anchored by spicy, tannic oak notes that linger in the background of the nose, but are quite noticeable once you get past the funk. Some fruitiness seems noticeable at times, but at others is drowned out by the funk; when noticed, aromas of ripe pear, white wine vinegar, hints of kumquat pith & zest, . This has a very complex, very funky aroma that has a significant, but not overwhelming oak character that seems to be a bit more pervasive than I originally thought, but as a supporting role.

The first sip is quite dry tasting, it is not quite as mouth puckeringly sour as I was expecting, based upon the aroma, but still has a nice tartness to it. My first sip definitely leaves me thinking that this needs to have a harder sourness to it. The carbonation is at a light-medium level; persistent, prickly and noticeable, but not any where near the effervescence of sparkling Gueuze (which seems to be a rarer and rarer thing now a days, even amongst the classic Gueuze producers). The flavor also seems a bit cleaner than the aroma, though it is definitely tart and funky. The acidity here seems predominantly lactic in character and reminds me of tart grapefruit, some lemon zest, a touch of vinegar-like bite in the finish. Other flavors that round things out are a slight, funky cheddar cheese note, something a bit like smoked almonds, a touch of saltiness (tied up in the previous note), a definitely tannic finish and some light, spicy oak notes there as well. This somehow picks up a perception of sweetness to it, though I don't think there is much in the way of residual sugars in this beer; it almost seems to be acidity based. Light and quaffable, this beer also hides its alcohol quite well, which makes it all that much more drinkable.

My second pour of this is a touch more yeasty, which seems to soften the tartness a bit and also adds some raw, fermented dough notes (though only just a touch) as well as enhancing a cooked bread like character (sour dough to be sure though). I easily polish off this 750ml bottle, though there is enough acidity to make my empty stomach feel a bit rumbly. Worthy of the hype that I built up in my mind? I don't know, but it is definitely worth the hype to try it. It could use a touch more carbonation as a beer like this could always use a lively carbonation in my book.

 3,211 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.85/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

 1,479 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.59/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle enjoyed at Toronado SF.

Pours a relatively clear golden copper color with a nice white head that hangs around and leaves light rings of lacing. Aroma is surprisingly funky and complex with lemon and green apple sourness dominating. More fruit and tart than earthiness but there is light straw and grass throughout as well. Body is very citric and crisp, full on the palate with high carbonation. Flavor start with lemon and other citrus rind, before becoming more oaky and tart with only lingering sourness. Expected to be let down by this, but was pleasantly surprised and look forward to trying other vintages.

 625 characters

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.

 782 characters

Photo of Raziel313
4.6/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jschott75
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of greenspointexas
4.75/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

 1,267 characters

Photo of ADTaber
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of weeare138
4.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to Phatz for sharing this rarity of a gem.

Appears a hazy, light gold with a small white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Lacing is scattered all over the glass like tiger stripes. Streams of CO2 quickly rise to the top.
Smell is of caramel, candy sugar, vanilla, barnyard, funky must, cinnamon, and cardamom, with a touch of apple.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas that meld together in a lemony zest, citrusy, sweet, funky, and tart blend that tantalizes the tastebuds into craving this different but enticing brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, full of candy orange, funk, with a dryness covering the palate with citrusy zest.

 654 characters

Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.58 out of 5 with 1,024 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.