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Cable Car | The Lost Abbey

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
99
world-class
222 Reviews
THE BROS
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Cable CarCable Car
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
222
Ratings:
914
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
16.93%
 
 
Wants:
2,707
Gots:
94
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 914
Photo of Gtreid
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for the opportunity. 07 vintage. 750 ml bottle poured into my CCB tulip.

A: Hazy golden yellow color. The pour produced a small soapy head that quickly faded to nothing, and left no lace.

A: Tart green apples, lemon, slight citursy hops, and soury sweetness.

T: Sour, sweet, divine. The sour tartness balances so well with the malty sweetnes of the brew. The sourness is not over the top, it just plays so well the plethora of flavors. It finishes tart and dry with absolutley no hint of ABV.

M: Lower on the carbonation, but not in a bad way. Medium body and rather slick.

O: This is one great beer. I don't like the overpowering sourness of many wilds, but this one is just about perfect for me. I would put this at the top of the list in terms of sours. Skal.

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Photo of ricoslim
4.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at Toronado SF, worth every penny. This was just silly good. The perfect amount of tartness that I am looking for in tis style of beer. Should have bought another bottle.

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bubble thin head. A weird orange color head. Body is cloudy. Wheat color. Aroma is the best sour I have had. Lemon, twigs, slight funk. Very delicious. A little young. Well balanced. Nice lemon tart, funk, and a little sweet. Lacto. Mouth is light carb and puckering.

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Photo of Rothobinide
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle at Toronado in San Diego on 5/26/16. 2009 release.

Appears a vibrant, hazy orange. Aroma is complex with layers of peach, apricot, pear, white grape, lemon, lime... definitely fruit forward tinged with woodsy barrel notes. Flavor is highly complex - this has aged super well. Again there is a melange of stone fruit flavors balanced with tartness and funk and just the right amount of acidity. Very drinkable, yet at the same time it's totally a sipping beer due to the multiple layers of flavor. Smooth and zippy with a pleasing, fine carbonation fully intact.

If forced to choose I would pick this over DDG.

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Photo of afksports
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

notes for better review to be updated when I get on my computer post vacation

2009 bottle at toronado. The bar it was brewed for.

App: hazy gold straw with tons of head that sustains great lace and a touch if cling

smell: wine barrels it has to be. funky and sweet at the same time. Fantastic sour aroma, bites the nose with a puckering sweetness

taste: heaven. Delicate, balanced, pucker that starts and finishes but somehow manages bitter too. Sweet middle body that has white grapes, dryness, complexity and tartness, touch if funk bit it doesn't last. Sooo effing smooth start to finish.

Mouth: great carb, nice body, bubble goddess

drink: forever

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Photo of pmoney
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
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 MiScusi
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jessethehutt splurged on this bottle at Toronado, SD. Owe him bigtime. Split 4 ways.

A- golden, slightly cloudy, sudsy white foam.

S- Sour, like these lemon Quench Gum I have, only very light phenols and other funky compounds from the yeast. The acid is pretty prevalent on the nose.

T- A nice balance between sour and sweet. Not a ton of yeast character that I could detect in the taste, compared to say a Sanctification or a Cantillon Geuze. Not as dry in the finish as those either, this one finishes with a lot of sour and a little bit of sweet. Kinda like a sour candy.

M- Light, but at 7% there is some body with it. Carbonation was moderate to high, plenty for the style.

D- Tasty sour, not sure I fully understood it in my 6 oz sample to be able to rank it relative to other great sours I've had, but it was a good beer.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.76/5  rDev +6%

Poured into a SP Stem. Thanks Shea for busting this out. CC '13.

A - Cloudy light straw yellow pour with a 1 finger white foam head that slowly recedes back into the glass.

S - Lemony citrus zest here, slightly reminds me of DDG on the nose here. White wine grapes. The Lemony citrus and grapes smells are the most prevalent.

T - Taste follows the nose here with loads of lemony citrus zesty notes followed by the white grape tastes as well as notes from the oak barrels.

M - Crisp, light, medium bodied and to the point, clean.

O - This reminded me a lot of DDG. If I had to choose between the two, considering the difficulty of obtaining CC, I would have to go with DDG. They are both on par in terms of taste, but the difficulty pushes me away.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tomme for opening a few bottles of the new batch of Cable Car (batch 2) for the RateBeer event.

Poured a golden color with minimal head...nothing too fancy but decent for the style.

Aroma of green apples on the nose, funk, sweet pale malt, yeast, sour pear, and an odd spiciness. Now, I have not encountered such a spiciness in other sour beers, this one smells like a bread or bread dough with spices. Starts to get more fruity as it warms up.

Taste of dough, spices again, ripe pear, various tropical fruits (but not too fruity), spicy bread, and sweet oak. Tastes very young and definitely needs to sit some more. Less spicy character after it warms up. Sweet cracker taste in the finish.

Slightly syrupy but soft with some carbonation in the back.

Needs to develop some more but tasting pretty good right now.

I also tried the first batch tonight but I didn't take any notes, it was definitely a bit more tart, had less of the spicy character and was a bit more yeasty. Definitely gets better with age.

***update 7-27-09****

Had the opportunity to try batch 1 (2007) and batch 2 (2008) at the "You Bring the Cheese Tasting" on July 25-26th 2009.

I was very interesting to have both vintages side-by-side. I had not tried this one since last year. The surprise of the tasting was that the batch 1 (2007) Cable Car was not doing so well.

Batch 1 had a weird tannic and muddy flavors, as well as a stronger spicy oak flavor. Batch 2 also had the spicy oak flavors and aroma but more balanced and a cleaner tartness.

Good to see that batch 2 is holding up fine and could age a bit longer, I will keep my bottle for as long as I can and see what happens.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this personal whale at Toronado in San Diego. $40 a bottle. 2010 vintage.

Pours a slightly hazy pale orange. The head fills half of the Russian River tulip the server gave me to enjoy the beer out of. Slowly fading mound of bubbles due to the effervescent flow of bubbles steadily rising.

The aroma seemed to constantly change. First sniff was filled with lemon zest and sour funk. Then I started getting some orange and some oak. Up next was grassy herbs and sourdough bread. This would have gotten a 5 for aroma if something would have smacked me in the face. Lots there, but not overwhelmingly powerful.

The flavor mimics the smell quite nicely. Tart lemon, wet grass, white wine grapes, bit of wood, and some sour funk. Not exceedingly tart or sour. Nice balance for the style. Delicious!

The carbonation is very active. Prickly on the tongue throughout most of the bottle. A little drying. Overall...wow! So glad I finally got to have this one. Worth the wait.

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Photo of Risser09
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to metallitone1 for providing Phatz with this beer. Shared very graciously by a great host. Cheers!

Appearance: Golden in color with a moderately sized white head and lots of apparent carbonation. Lacing is generous and clingy.

Smell: This is what sours are made to be. Brettanomyces and other wild yeast strains make a wildly complex aroma that is profound. Overripe apples, lemon peel, freshly baled hay, orange rind, barnyard mustiness and freshly ground pepper. Quite endearing.

Taste: Wow. These wild yeasts are superb at creating complex flavors. Lemon, hay, funky tart sweet apple cider, allspice, coriander, citric acid, blood orange, and fresh peppercorns. I''m sure you could pontificate all the flavors that arise because of the shear complexity of this beer. Five for flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pretty much everything a wild beer shoudl be. I found it to be bubbly and lively like a champagne, with an alcohol presence to remind you of its strength. Most importantly, this beer is sour and tart in the forefront and midground but finishes with a soft and supple swallow that furthers the already complex nature of it.

Drinkability: This beer certainly lived up to all the hype that surrounds it. I feel lucky to have quaffed it with other knowledgable advocates of beer. If you are a fan of sours, this is your nirvana. Seek it out at all costs and please share some with me. A bombshell of a beer. While I am hesitant to give this beer all fives, I do not think there are others out there that will match its complexity and well rounded aromas/flavors/mouthfeels. Each area is like a yin/yang of sour/sweet, sour/soft, fruity/spicy which is more than can be said for other beers that can present themselves as superb one dimensional beers, but not all encompassing. I would consume this beer with any meal and feel confident that it would pair well. I'm eager to try it again. I want the remaining 99 bottles.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.29/5  rDev -4.5%
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 Thehuntmaster
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle 7,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a wine glass.
2013 Vintage.

A massive thanks to Futura123 for this bottle.

Appearance: Cable Car pours a lightly clouded golden orange with a rough pour yielding a large white head. The head lasts well for a sour and leaves a few patches of lacing as it recedes.

Smell: The initial nose is quite different from what I had expected with a big overripe fruit character (white grapes and maruls) . After a few minutes the nose begins to open up with a fair amount of acidity, some musty notes, tart white grape, lemon, sweeter peach and orange, old wood, a light lactic character and some mold becoming apparent.

Taste: The flavour seems a little cleaner than the nose suggested, with far less of the overripe fruit character as well as a nice tartness and a fantastic acidity. Notes include: Tart white grapes, white wine, some sweeter stone fruits, a touch of cider vinegar, lemon, lactic, some oak, a minerally note and some old hay.

Mouthfeel: Initially the carbonation is a little too much for me (high level and quite expansive), but thankfully it settles down to a more pleasant level fairly quickly. The body has a little more heft than most wild ales at a light-medium level.

Overall: Cable Car is a great American Wild Ale, but as with so many beers it is no where near the hype. I wonder how the earlier vintages compare to the 2013.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review # 250 - Batch # 2 (Gold "08" in bottom left corner of cable car drawing).

Check this: I shared this one DURING A LEVEL 3 SNOW EMERGENCY in Cincinnati with yetiman420, pwoods and ftownthrowdown. If this wasn't beer advocacy in its' finest moment, I don't know what is!!!

(Also, I forced all my BA buddies to review this beer, also!)

750ml brown bottle corked and caged. Cork removal was graceful... The cork had just the right amount of pressure to make a muted pop as I opened it. My notes were taken on the fly during a brief tasting in Yetiman420's FANTASTIC beer cellar/museum! Thanks, again for hosting!!!

Pours a murky, yet bright golden with orange hues. Great, spotty lacing and a white head with small, highly compacted bubbles. Average head retention leaving a nice 1/8 inch skimming of foam as I drank.

The nose of this one was an interesting and complex mix of vinegar funk up front, followed by moderately sour cherries and hints of green, tart apples.

Following the nose, the taste was a mellow blending of lemon tart, ripe green apples, light assorted citrus, sour cherries finishing with a light vinegar twang/funk. Light bodied and full flavored with ample carbonation throughout. Flavor doesn't linger long, leaving a slightly sour and dry, almost refreshing finish. Pleasantly sour (not a sour bomb like Isabelle was)...

Though my tasting history of American Wild Ales is limited, this was the smoothest and most approachable wild ale I've had so far...

Oh, and for the fella that hooked up me, pwoods, Ftownthrowdown and yetiman420 - THANK YOU (you know who you are!)!!! You can't get a much better gift for a BA friend's review milestone...

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Photo of Devi0us
3.68/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage poured into a snifter. Shared this bottle at Toronado SF.

A- Pours a golden yellow wheat color. Had a 1 finger white head and good amounts lacing that chilled with us throughout the tasting.

S- Has a strong funky lemon scent. I'm not sure this is what it's supposed to smell like due to the fact that I drink darker brews.

T- Upon first sip, this BadBoy was sour. Made me wanna break some boards Bruce Lee Style. The sourness became more bearable the more I sipped and the more the beer warmed.

M- Medium bodied and smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation.
 
O- This reminds me alot like a shocktart. Makes your face pucker but you go back for more. The more I drink this, the better it taste. To me, this is definitely not worth the $40 pricetag. I'm glad to say I tried it but I won't be trying this again anytime soon.

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Photo of waltonc
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado in August. This is a pretty tasty sour beer. I was very impressed. Hazy golden color with solid white head. Taste is crisp and tart, fruity, oaky, and sour. Funk is certainly present, but not excessive, which I appreciated. Considering the style, which I generally can't drink too much of, I was very impressed with this, and look forward to opening up the bottle I also purchased on Toronado's 21st anniversary night.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks very much to nickd717 for this bottle, I owe you man! Shared this one at the Epic tasting on 10/10, from notes.

Pours a hazy light gold color into my tulip with a small white cap. Leaves impressive lacing and has decent retention.

Aromas of lemon zest, barnyard mustiness. Over-ripened peaches and wood, I've got wood. Some lemon rind and slightly buttery. Various floral spices and a dash of vinegar. Taste follows this funkiness and acidity are in a nice balance, after an initial sweetness. In my tasting notes, I have written "transgender vaginal funkiness". I'm not sure who was experiencing that at the time, but what a wonderful descriptor.

Great mouthfeel, nicely carbonated (!) . Very drinkable and I'm glad to have the chance to try this one, but I think that I like DDG better, not to mention how much more attainable it is/was.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.94/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to Wespatrick for a sample of a brew that will always stand out in my mind as one of the best. 2007 vintage.

Sunshine through the fog, a languid yellow/orange liquid that's foggy, yet light. The cloud-puffs on top linger for a moment or two, then drop away.
We've been running back and forth in the back yard, we children, pretending to attempt to catch the fog, though we know in our hearts that we have already arrived. So what can you say of the aromas? Immense lemon-citrus, a minor funk note overridden by the sheer tartness, but there's also a clean, tearful metallic rainwater note that simply makes one imagine what the angels must be taking in as they float along through the clouds in all of those old paintings...
And the flavour does not disappoint whatsoever, a mouthfeel that is clean, light, dry and bubbly, melding perfectly through the wash of flavours that are simply heavenly, the immense tartness and sour that is somehow still very, very approachable and very drinkable. The citrus notes still dominate, there's a flash of sweetness on the palate and just a touch of an old barnyard, along with the dense rainwater fog that we breathe in as we run, huffing and puffing and dreaming of heaven.
We'll continue to try to catch it, catch the fog, but we will never understand what it will be like until we're there, gleaming white robes, the airy, tearful metallic tartness that reminds of sunny fog, rainy sunshine, the most beautiful days on earth.

 1,480 characters

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

Huge thanks to raflord and jw347 for this one. Brought it out at our graduation tasting yesterday. Just an incredible beer!

A: Pours a glowing orange with a nice, frothy white head. Very nice orange and lemon color matched with the white head. Looks great.

S: Very tart, very geuze-like, with tons of lemon and oak with a funky cheese, and musty smell. Very complex, but not as complex as the darker sours in my opinion, like Deviation. Also some great white grape and white wine notes.

T: Immaculate. Very tart lemon and white grapes. Slightly vinous with white wine, very nice dry oak and slight cheesy funkiness. Very nice.

Overall, this was an incredible beer!

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Photo of rhinos00
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Going back into my notes for this one. On-tap at GABF. First beer of the night. Managed to gather a few tasters together for a solid 4 oz. review. 2009 vintage.

A- Pours a light golden color, semi-clear. Produced a half fingers width of white head that lasted throughout consumption.

S- As soon as I smelled it, I knew it was going to be a good sour. Immediately notes of sour lemons come forth. Underneath it all, a blend of apple skins, vinegar and brett are very noticeable. Nice complexity and great balance.

T- Very much like the aroma. A citric lemon flavor envelops the palate with a hint of green apples. Aside from fruit flavor, a decent amount of funk resides underneath, offering a nice balance to the beer. Finishes with a moderate amount of tartness.

M- Light bodied with a good amount if carbonation. The mouthfeel was semi-dry to dry and a perfect match for this sour.

D- Great flavors and good carbonation made this really easy to put down. The tartness was nowhere near overpowering.

Overall, Lost Abbey has failed to impress me on so many levels. However, this beer (and vintage) might be the exception. Might be one of the best American sours I have had aside from Deviation.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.76/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2014 Vintage at Toronado San Diego!
Thanks to Nate for the excellent service!

Traveled far and wide to finally try this beauty! Definitely lived up to the hype. Pours a gorgeous gold/orange haze color. The aroma has some nice funk to it, and fresh peaches, taste was nice juicy peaches, citrus, tart, nice acidity and barnyard funk. Very drinkable, could easily down the entire bottle on my own. Just a wonderful treat!

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Photo of rpstevens
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mjn5036 for sharing this bottle at a recent tasting. Poured into a mini goblet. The beer pours a hazy golden yellow with a bubbly white head that leaves little lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is crisp sweet ripe fruits (apricots and pears), sharp alcohol, musty funky barrel oakiness, hay and a more subtle than expected lemon and green apple sourness.

The taste is much more tart than the smell, the funky oak and hay characters jump on top of the lemon zestiness and really take you for a ride right out of the gate. There is not much balance to this one, but it's not expected and not necessary. This is a sour beer.

The beer is very carbonated, which is something I really appreciate for this style. I think the carbonation compliments the sharp fruit flavors and overtly sour tones of the beer, there is a nice dry finish that leaves the palate feeling nice and clean and craving more. The crisp flavors, dry finish and well masked alcohol make this beer very drinkable.

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Photo of badbeer
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2007 Cable Car, batch 1

Clear golden yellow color with a slight orange hue with a quickly dissipating white head, leaving only a ring around the glass. Lactic acid and citrus in the nose. There's some funkiness to it, but I get more tropical fruit than anything else. Lightly spicy on the tongue with some barnyard funk and a little bit of tropical fruit. As it warmed in the glass, the tropical fruit remained, but more of a foot-like Brett character came through. Medium high carbonation with a dry finish. Drinkability is exceptional; easy to drink a bunch of this, though availability won't allow it. Flavors aren't all that intense, but they are refined and lead to a good drinking experience.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.29/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/17/11- Shared a bottle of 2010 Cable Car at the San Francisco Toronado.
A: Very clear light golden with a white film and collar.
S: Nice granny smith apple, slightly solvent alcohol, floral and honey sweet with some banana. Well rounded.
T: Simple, but good. Sour sweeps into apple core earthiness. Interesting rustic bitterness... in general, it reminds me of Cantillon Gueuze without the overwhelming acidity. Good.
M: Thinner with a creamy froth.
O: Good. This is a solid gueuze, but not outlandishly good.

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Photo of csmiley
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a medium gold with some clarity. The off white head is minimal and sticks around for a minute or two before disappearing to a thin cap. Lots of lace stays in the glass.

S - Starts out with tart green apple and unripened cherry. Hints of white bread and alcohol midway. Alcohol doesn't get in the way at all. Pretty funky and musty toward the end with notes of wet hay.

T - Tart apple and cherry really pop at the start. Some oak / wood comes in about midway. Hay and grass are present as well. Might be some pale malt and honey at the end. Alcohol is warm and complimentary overall. Very nice flavor and complexity going on here.

M - Lighter bodied with a nice carbonation level that just tickles the palate. Finish is tart and persistent. Creamy and smooth overall.

D - Drinkability is very good. The strong flavors and overall complexity just keeps you coming back for sip after sip. This one goes down surprisingly easy. Lost Abbey has a winner with the Cable Car. It would be nice to see this one become more available in the future.

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
99 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.
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