Cable Car | The Lost Abbey

BA SCORE
99
world-class
993 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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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
Ratings:
993
Reviews:
233
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,702
Gots:
99
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 993 |  Reviews: 233
Photo of lupercmda
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this at Toronado bar in SF tonight. Pours a golden hue which has a nice carbonation level. Smell is of sour oakiness. Taste is of lemony, oakiness with a mild acidity and a moderate sour taste. Does not overpower you with the sourness. Finish is slightly sour with a nice clean finish. I think this may be the best wild ale I have ever had. Bravo!!

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Photo of eawolff99
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of dwagner003
4.29/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of enelson
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
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

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.59/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Raziel313
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of spinrsx
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

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Photo of epyon396
4.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sweemzander
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
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 rodbeermunch
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks go out to FooFaa for busting this out at a recent tasting. I've wanted to try this beer for a very long time so I was really psyched to try it. Thanks a bunch Dan!

Pours a dark golden ripe banana color that is slightly murky with a one finger off-white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. There is very minimal lacing, only small spots here and there.

Very funky aroma with some nice barnyard, horseblankety goodness. Lots of crisp golden fruits, apple, pear, grape, etc and a nice dusty earthy oak character. Just the smell of this beer made my mouth water. I literally sniffed my glass for several minutes before even taking a sip.

This beer has a perfect balance of intense puckering tart barnyard funk, horseblanket notes, slightly lactic and acidic but not too much so. Tart and sour intensity up front that settles into some beautiful light crisp golden fruit notes. Hints of apple, pear, grapefruit, light grape followed by more funky brett oaky sourness which lingers into the amazing mouthwatering finish. Very dry yet sweet and crisp with an amazing crisp dry tart puckering finish.

This is an amazing beer that for me truly lived up to the hype. It is just a perfect blend of tart/puckering sourness, crisp delicious fruit notes and a dry sweet yet tart delectable finish. This beer tasted better with each sip and my mouth was literally watering in anticipation of each sip. This is one of the most complex, flavorful sours I've ever had and I cannot recommend it any higher. I only wish I had more.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of JohnParadee
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of beertunes
3.58/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to the Tornado Seattle for opening this brew during a recent BA bottle share they hosted. Bright flavors and a crisp mouthfeel were the strong suits of this tasty treat. Maybe I'll splurge on a bottle of my own sometime!

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Photo of kscaldef
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of akorsak
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle (Batch 1) graciously shared by the one and only spacecoyote.

A: The ale is a hazy golden color, a weizen-like melange of sediment and goldenrod. The head held up well through several glasses.

S: The aroma is funky, but not as tart as I expected. A wide array of fruits pop up throughout and add a varied sweetness to the ale.

T: Man oh man! I was expecting the utmost in tartness, the end-all be-all of face pucker, so I was mildly surprised by a reserved tartness that strikes up front and supports the the fruitiness throughout. After the mild tartness, the fruits make themselves known. Apricot, green apple and lots of grapefruit mark the fruitiness. The grapefruit is most memorable, as it is not hop-driven. The finish shows off the flavor, a tart sweetness that really bites at the taste buds. The mix of flavors is incredible, a magnum opus.

M: The mild tartness is refreshing, not so strong that you can't handle repeat sips. The tart fruit flavors are divine.

D: I almost passed out when Carl pulled this one out of his cooler. It is easily one of the most drinkable sour ales that you'll come across.

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Cable Car from The Lost Abbey
4.5 out of 5 based on 993 ratings.
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