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Cable Car | The Lost Abbey

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BA SCORE
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world-class
226 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
226
Ratings:
958
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
8.24%
 
 
Wants:
2,703
Gots:
95
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 958
Photo of DaveJanssen
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 750 mL of the 2010 vintage at SF Toronado, poured into tulips. Reviewed 12/13/2010. I had heard about the egg fart character in this batch discussed at the Toronado anniversary party and that was on my mind as i had it.

Ar: Fruity, tart cherry, raspberry, sulfur hints, very fruity, tropical fruit, citric, mild egg fart character that dissipates quickly.

Ap: Thick white head, good retention, clear gold

T: Sulfur, cherry, raspberry, lemon, tart citrus, peach/nectarine, very mild green/herbal character, very strong berry, tropical fruit, not too sour, clean malt, simple light sweetness, tangerine, floral, slight residual sweetness.

M: Thin body, high carbonation, sour but smooth, *cheesy/buttery mouthfeel

O: Very good, tons of fruit character, minimal funk, was looking for the sulfur but it is definitely there, the sulfur isn't too strong or obtrusive but it is present and is less pleasant that the dupont sulfur character, sulfur character dissipates quickly.

I like the fruit rather than funk oriented Lost Abbey sour character present in this, DDG, Brouwer's imagination, IP. I wish it had more funk but all in all a very good beer and time seems to be helping it a lot from reports i heard of this initially.

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

Shared a bottle at Toronado in San Francisco.

Appearance - Has a murky golden orange that almost glows with a white beautiful bubbly head.

Smell - Strong musty wild citrus smell.

Taste - Mild tart citrus fruits hits my palate as i sip on this. A slight sweet taste comes in the background as if a Jolly Rancher was dropped on the bottom of my glass.

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation with a medium body.

Overall - This was a delicious beer that challenges the taste buds with the exceptional balance of citrus sourness and superb fruit flavor.

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Photo of kajerm
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Toronado.

A: Straw, translucent; filmy white head with lacing tracking up the glass. Fine, champagne-like columns of carbonation. Standard for the style, but attractive.

S: Horses and vinegar, in force. Fermented fruit, calvados. No malt to be found. This is a very good thing.

T: Opens tart (I feel stupid writing that), and stays that way but with lemon (not something I've tasted in a beer like this), very muted malt in the background, apple cider as usual but less assertively than in others in the style. Finishes bone-dry. Orval-dry

M: dry, effervescent

Very good, very expensive.

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Photo of Mojua
4.91/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've only had 2012 CC, but it was the best BA AWA I've had....absolutely extraordinary stuff...so complex and amazing. Layers of fruit and funk, but neither was overpowering.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Toronado SD during SD Beer Week alongside the mighty Kegatron.

Appearance is pretty good, sort of a copper orange body topped with a super thin yet bright white head. Small ring sticks around and leaves a slight lace.

Can tell from the aroma that this beer is going to be sour as all hell. Smells a bit like sweet and sour sauce with some green apple highlights and sour cherry notes.

Taste is a lot of the same, sweet up front with some apricot, orange, cherry, lemon and citrus which is followed up quickly by a lingering sourness that is challenging to my palate. Stoney fruits finish it up on the swallow.

Super vibrant and poppy in the mouth, medium chewiness and pretty slick.

Drinkability was higher than I originally thought upon first sip. As you become acustomed to the sourness it goes down easier and easier until you want to just chug the whole glass. It's kind of like drinking the sweet tarts candy :)

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Photo of irv2424
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank at Toronado on 7/22. This has been on my wants list for year and finally got out to SF, didn't expect for bottles to be on sale but splurged. Overpriced at $60 but great beer and glad I had the opportunity to try it. Golden color with minimal head and a bit of haze. Aroma was less intense than expected, vinegar and white wine, decent funk. Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Taste is white wine, minimal funk, lemons and bread. Didn't get much oak. Overall great beer, steep price point but would try again if it was $25 or under.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The last, and least worthy, of the four from this wonderful occasion to submit my review.

An emergency beer tasting?

If it involves Cable Car, you betcha. Slightly damaged during shipping, beachbum1975 (thanks Shane!) insisted we consume it within a day or two. Forget about the ice storm and the law telling people to stay off the roads. This was an emergency of Cable Car proportions.

Shane was tight lipped about the beer. It was intended to be a gift for pwoods (Patrick). Shane's message - it's rare and worth the urgency. FtownThrowDown (Steve) rounded out the special occasion.

I requested we drink the first half blind.

Poured by Shane into an oversized red wine glass. Presented to me with a hazy straw color and beautiful golden hue. Sensory overload with aroma, color, and foam lacing. I'm guessing my pour was around 5 ounces with 1 oz going to my wife. Review from the wife; "this is good!"

The suspected shipping damage had little impact on the mild level of carbonation (or did it?). Once in a lifetime. I'll never really know. The quest is officially on.

My notes contain the standard comments on this style - tart, sour, light citrus, and dry. Looking back over my notes, two observations were made separate of the rest - thick and straight up. I observed thickness, in the form of mouth feel, that I'm not accustomed to with sours/wilds. Straight up is another story. I was searching hard for complexity in the yet-to-be-revealed rare beer. Searching too hard to enjoy. To me, Cable Car is a phenomenal balance of the wild, sour, and funky combined with light and fluffy...at a loss for words here. Smooth, easy-drinking Cable Car. On a hot summer day I could drink myself to death.

When the curtain came up, the biggest surprise to me was the barrel aspect. I suspect this may have more to do with leveraging bugs than major & noticeable enhancements to the flavor profile (think Supplication).

Like a wedding video, I'm purposely avoiding documentation on this beer because I want it to live in my memory as I remember it - a special beer that rewards beer exploration.

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Photo of Fux
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
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 SubpoenaDeuces
3.47/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cable car Lost Abbey, 7.0% wild ale

A: Light pilsner color, mellow gold, a refined golden ambiance

S: strong sour geuze smell, crushed sweettarts and a melted fruitloops wafting

T: This beer is intimidating at first, strong smells and notes, but ultimately this is a calf that you can wrangle not without oppression. It is akin to mutton busting, something that seems difficult until you tackle the sheep, and pull its majestic fur to the ground. At its core, it is temptation with milder souring, lighter drying effects, less tanins in the grape aftertaste, and finally champagne crisp apple notes in the finish. Nothing you can't handle but an exceptional balance. It is the lovechild of gueuze and champagnes of the mild brut variety.

M: Fantastic, crisp and light, the entire experience has lemon zest and feels like a Hootie and the Blowfish Album. You can dispense this pellmell and no one will look askance. If not for the oppressive Toronado's standards, this could be something everyone could enjoy, if not for proprietary despotism. Not worth bootlegging, not worth epic trades. Just really good, but if you want to tread this road, there are more refined paths as smoothe as marble for your wanting cart.

D: Again, fantastic but competing in a league of legends. I would drink this all day, fixing my carburator, prepartying for the charity gala, snuff film exposition, you know, guy stuff. I find myself in a love hate resolution with this beer because I love what it is but I hate the air surrounding it. It feels like seeing a person with a TOOL shirt on. you love the syncopated rhythms and complex melodies, but you dislike the fanbase in general. The faux highbrow ruins what would be a fantastic experience.

Narrative: Sir Fredrick Willingsly is repossessing your car. You can't hate him for doing his job, but, without a 1998 civic DX, these pizzas arent going to deliver themselves. You hate him, with his cliche antagonistic handlebar moustache and fogged up monocle. However, his wry quips relating to Howards' End and class struggle made it all the sweeter. "And thence upon from which one has had, none shall take without" he declares with a cloud of aplomb that almost makes you lighthearted in his usurpation of your chief economic asset. He is akin to the Mr. peanut of recurring vengeance. your pocket despises him, yet you respect him for his casuistic enforcement of the law. "God speed Willingsly, dont scratch my sick mugen exhaust on the dip. Godspeed."

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Photo of MrFootstones
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

Pours bright, hazy, yellow with a nice big head that settles into a lasting foam cap.

More funky in the aroma than the others, and less fruit character, but it's still there. Phenolic brett, stone fruit, citrus zest, tangy berry.

The citrus and peachy nectarine are still present, but they are either less prominent or I am starting to experience some palate fatigue. The main flavors are there though. Underripe peaches, various citrus peels and segments, sour candy, and phenolic brett. Slightly less refined and focused than the 2008 and 2009, but still damn good.

Good mouthfeel. Not quite as fantastic as the 2009, but more full and rich than the 2008.

This is Cable Car, and it's great. Tasting it after the 2008 and 2009, it's not my favorite, but as a sour beer it's still world class and something for brewers to aspire to.

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Photo of deschutes_fan
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage
- Pours a hazy golden yellow, with some lively carb.

- Smells is bright citrus and acid with some mild barnyard funk.

- Flavor hits with juicy and tart peach, acid, oak, some funky hay and a good pucker at the end. Flavors fade from palette pretty quickly, leading the tastebuds to beg for another gulp.

- Nothing over the top here. Not the most funky, most juicy or sour, not the most complex. But it has all the features of a great sour and in beautiful harmony. A pleasure and a treat. Is it worth the price tag? Hard to say...

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Photo of abfraser
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling, had at Toronado's Lost Abbey event earlier this month.

A: Nice hazy golden yellow with orange undertones. Thick white head, which leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

S: Lemony acidity, funky, malty bread-like aroma, nice earthiness. This is a wonderful smelling sour. You can tell this isn't going to be over the top. Nice balanced aroma.

T/M: Excellent stuff. Nice sour fruit and strong earthiness. Funk isn't over-dominant, kept in check nicely. Not too sour. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied. Nice strong carbonation leaves a dry finish. Very refreshing.

D: Very drinkable stuff.

Overall, an excellent sour beer. Between this and the Phunky Duck that same night, I see why people believe Lost Abbey makes some great sours (I think some of their other more well-known sours are overrated, personally).

Just crazy stupid that this thing cost $50 at Toronado, though. But I was willing to split with my friends once in order to give it a try.

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Photo of ccnorthwest
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
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 -7.1%
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 -3.6%
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 -2%
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 drewba
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
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 +1.8%
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 -1.6%
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 fireazzi
5/5  rDev +11.4%
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 0110x011
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
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 +0.7%
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 -12%
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 +0.9%
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 -6.5%
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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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
4.49 out of 5 based on 958 ratings.
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