Yellow Bus | The Lost Abbey

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83 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by seaoflament on 08-03-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 |  Reviews: 60
Reviews by nickd717:
Photo of nickd717
3.92/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, signed by Tomme Arthur himself, enjoyed during a game of beirut a.k.a. beer pong (I'm not joking), but mostly from a separate Lost Abbey glass rather than the red Solo cups. I honestly think the awesome force of rarity in this beer propelled me to sink the last cup in a stunning come-from-behind victory that had the crowd in awe (we were down like 7 to 2 at one point), and for that I have Tomme to thank.

Clear peachy orange color with a small white head. A bit less yellow than a bus.

The aroma is nice, rather peachy with other light fruit notes - apricot and pear in particular. Rather funky with nice oak barrel notes.

The flavor is nice if a bit subdued. Peach is fairly assertive, and there is some citrus/lemon. The sourness is restrained and there is actually a touch of sweetness in it. Tastes good, and rare. Medium oakiness.

Medium-bodied with carbonation a little on the lower side. Fairly long finish.

Overall, this is a very good beer, but maybe not quite worth the hype behind it. Maybe it's faded a bit - who knows. I'm rating this objectively so I'll refrain from the "A++++ BEST BEER EVER OMG" schtick. Thanks a lot to all who made this happen though. This is truly one of the highlights of my ticking career.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of joel66
4.84/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very interesting story behind these acquisition of YB. Id like to give a big thank you to Tomme and David for authenticating my bottles. They went way out of their way to help me and it is much appreciated

A- Poured from a Tomme Arthur hand signed bottle. Beautiful apricot color with a light ring of head.

N- Peach, peach, peach.... drank next to V004/V010 and the peach in YB was more prominent. Sour notes of vinegar probably from the age. Brett and moldy peach funk

T- Fresh ripe peach as though they were picked yesterday, sour peach skins, light vinegar and brett. moderate funk, with incredibly well balanced sweet/tart characteristics. Peach e o's come to mind

M- smooth with very light carbonation.

O- The best peach sour i have ever had...hands down... My wife drank most of my pour not realizing how rare the yellow bus is. Big thanks to Mark for letting me drink pretty much half of his glass.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of magictrokini
4.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours clear yellow with a tiny ring of bubbles. A beautiful flowery bretty perfume of sweet fruit salad, banana, berries, plum sauce, and paste (strange, but in a good way). The beer is so light it doesn't even feel like it touches your tongue. Fresh white peaches are the secret ingredient and it is impossible to miss. Some kiwi/strawberry notes with the tart brett. A near-perfect beer.

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Photo of boatshoes
4.57/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very lucky to have this. In my first volunteer experience, I got to pour for Lost Abbey and this year's BBF. Got about a five ounce pour of this at the beginning of the fest with Tomme to familiarize myself with the beer for purposes of describing the taste. I don't usually review from festivals, but given the beefier pour I got and the fact that I was trying it to familiarize myself with the flavor profile, thought I could probably log one. Also got to try the Cable Car, Cuvee de Tomme and Sangre DC! Awesome experience all around!

Appearance- Pours a slightly hazy straw-golden from the unlabeled Lost Abbey 750ml bottle. I get a small cap of white head as well that doesn't stick around for too long. Looks mysterious and exciting given the hype behind this one, but also very solid looking for the style. Fairly lively carbonation.

Smell- Big notes of peaches, a touch of barnyard funk, some lactic tartness, and what surprises me most is a fairly strong notes of cereal graininess coming in from behind. Overall smells quite nice and juicy, while not overly tart. Very much what one might expect from a wild ale aged on white peaches and invites one to take a drink.

Taste- Taste comes through in a very similar fashion. Lots of white peach on the palate, though not as overwhelming as I was expecting. Rounded out by some nice wild funk and more grain flavors coming through as well. Certainly has a nice lactic tartness but much more understated than I was expecting. In no way is tartness overwhelming on this one, and it is much more under the radar than many other lambics and wild ales.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is spot on for the style here. Plenty of carbonation but not aggressive. Very refreshing flavor profile that makes this very very drinkable. I like the white peaches and would love to see more wild ales done with this particular fruit addition. Really hit the spot.

Overall, this is a very good wild ale. I think that hype perhaps contributes to some individuals perceptions of this beer, as I wouldn't say it is the best wild ale I've ever had (I think I actually liked Duck Duck Gooze better...forgive the sacrilege). Regardless though, very good and take advantage of any opportunity to try it that you may have.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ShadesofGray for this one. 3oz pour from a corked and caged unlabeled 750ml bottle into a TJ’s snifter. Bottle was signed “Enjoy the Magic Yellow Bus Ride – Tomme Arthur”. Had at a tasting on 9/4/11.

Thin white lace. Cloudy deep white peach puree color. Patchy lace with no retention. Not much of a looker.

Sour and sweet peach puree. Tickly yeast funk. Huge fruit aroma. Simple but very big and bold.

Opens sour peach flavor. Some pulpy sweetness. Some Brett characteristics. Cobweb. Lemon. More peach in middle. Oaky towards middle. Cheese funkiness. End tart peach slightly dry. Sharp. Aftertaste is tart.

Medium bodied. Low to moderate carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth. Goes down warm, slick. Finish messy with lingering aftertaste. Not really to style (not lively) but very nice. Lambic-like.

I’m very privileged to have the opportunity to have this beer. It’s very different from other American Wilds. Very robust, deep, and not only funky, but cheesy. That being said, having this side by side with the Veritas 004, the 004 is a touch better. Still, it’s one phenomenal peach sour.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sufficiently lucky to have attended the DC Lambic & Sour Tasting on April 14, 2012 although I've not posted my reviews/notes until doing a couple today.

I here give a brief review for the primary purpose of stating that I've found great varience in bottles.

Summary review:

Pours a light diluted yellow with a thin white head.

Nose is typical sour/lambic tart but, this is the first bottle of a few that I've tried that actually still had a hint (and, yes...just a hint) of peaches. Some funk and tartness in the nose. Nice.

The flavor profile here is generally on many of the more recent tasting, in my opinion, more "wishful thinking" than reality, although perhaps you "younger drinkers" simply have a better palate than me. In my opinon, there is no question that this beer is very over the hill - not gone but clearly nothing like it was when produced. Past experience has led me to make the above conclusion with a fervor. Here, in this bottle, there actually was a hint of peach and fruit, something I've found to be uncharacteristic in the bottles I've tried the past two years. This bottle was much better than the bottle I provided to our California tasting last year (and yet I know that it was from the same source).

Nice mouthfeel, nice flavors and all around decent to drink. I never tasted it fresh and about which I'm sorry since I think it must have been terrific. However, in the words of Tommee Arthur at the Extreme Beer Festival over two years ago..."It's way past it's prime and nothing like it was." I can't comment on that part! But, a nice experience for what it was with this particular bottle.

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Photo of Bardwashrind
3.8/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forgetfu came through with the big gun once again. Thanks for bringing this to Popkas's second late summer sour tasting (9/4/2011).

The magical Yellow Bus in all it's supposed mystical and illusive glory. Corked and caged but unlabeled with a little message written down the body of the bottle; "Time to hop on board your very own Yellow Bus- Tomme". Apropirate and highly enjoyable concerning where this beer stands in the minds of many.

Big pop as the cork is pulled and a nice frothy head is present. Always nice to see. Cloudy gold in color with a bit of haze. Peaches are easily compared not only from the color but from the exciting aroma of fresh fruit and funky tartness. Peach skin, lemons, wet wood, brett and peach juice were all together to be enjoyed. It was nice how direct the smell of the beer came off. Not a truck load of peach concentrate but rather a very simple fresh fruit expression. I do love peaches.

Tart, creamy, peach pie, hints of cobbler, rounded acidity among the fruit and funky backbone. The beer's weight wasn't full of harsh acid, it sat nicely on the tongue with a finish that was soft and simple. There was a little buttered pastry flavor that came up near the finish that took me by surprise. The funkiness kept a fair distance from the peaches and it almost seemed a touch disjointed. Could be age is setting in or possibly just that the fruit is sliding out of the forefront of the flavor.

A fine beer to taste, one that I actually didn't really believe was to ever be viewed by my own eyes. After tasting, I'm really hoping a new batch is made as it was impressive but possibly a bit over stated with praise. The creamy pastry flavor stood out and detracted just enough for me to not be completely in love.

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Photo of jegross2
4.83/5  rDev +5.5%

Reviewing the infamous Yellow Bus , a "yellow sour" (American wild ale) with white peaches from The Lost Abbey out of San Marcos, California. Although unsigned, the bottle has been verified as authentic.

Score: 98

2008 vintage bottle served in a Lost Abbey teku and enjoyed on 07/27/14 alongside Veritas 010.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy yellow-orange peach color that is a darker hue than the Veritas 010, with a thin later of head that settles to a ring around the glass. Has a lovely fade with an orange-ish center (this is sadly not particularly apparent in my photo). No lacing or retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Peach/peach syrup, oak, tannins and vanilla. So lovely. A hint of must and stone fruit. Has a little zesty, mildly jammy character. Quite remarkable, though not quite the best sour peach nose I have encountered to date. Lovely mix of aromatics here. 5/5

Taste: Peach, peach, peach, mineral water, a hint of stone fruit and a kiss of oak. So lovely. It's 90% peach, with a little jellied sweetness, wine, oak and other faint underlying complexities that make you doubt this is Lost Abbey. Do not get me wrong, Tomme makes some delicious sours, but subtly has never been his calling card. Finishes with lasting peach flavor. Just a hint of vinegar. More acidity/sourness if you let it sit on the tongue more. 4.75

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, spot on carbonation. More "pop" from the cork than there was with Veritas 010. Soft tartness with a little sweetness. Virtually no acidity and has the delicateness of the best Belgian lambic, which is quite unlike Veritas 010. Excellent balance. 5/5

Overall: A remarkable ghost whale; one of the better white whales out there that I have sampled to date. It is not a unique beer so much as it is a masterfully brewed and balanced one. I would put this a half step above Fuzzy in quality, noting that it is six or so years old and thus likely faded from its peak. I personally would take a bottle like Black & Wild over this if given a choice, but this bottle did not disappoint.

Cost: Unknown (was never a bottle sold to the public).

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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

A: Hazy golden-orange with a small white head that quickly recedes to a crown.

S: The nose is all peaches. Ripe, juicy, sweet peaches. As it warms, a hint of funk appears along with a creamy sweetness. The fruit completely dominates the aroma in a wonderful way.

T/M: Opens with a wallop of ripe peach, pineapple and lemon. Sour as hell with no trace of the sweetness that the nose implies. The fruit melds beautifully with the sharp lactic sourness. Light, crisp and drying on the tongue. The finish goes on forever, tannins and leather blending seamlessly with flavors of green apple and lemon. This one completely exceeded my expectations, one of the better American fruit sours out there.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When I think of beers that I never dreamed of ever trying, this one was close to the top of the list. Thanks to treyrab for breaking this out during beer extravanganza weekend. To preface this review, Dyan was right when he said, "you could drink it off of a black plastic bag." So here goes...

A: Slightly hazy...a cool peach color. A ton of bubbles are clinging to the side of the glass. Ample carbonation is evident. Wisps of fizzy head float atop this pristine looking offering in no particular pattern.

S: My nose is overwhelmed with a tart bite that is dominated by peaches. Followed immediately by wild brettanomyces and some thick and heavy smells of old Belgian cheeses, the peach pulls me in and makes my mouth water.

T: Wow. My pallet is on overload. The immediate sensation I get is tart bordering on flat out sour. As I move the beer over my tongue, the peach comes out in force. There is also a dry, white wine-like acidity to the beer. I get the yeasty funk coming through in the finish, while the aftertaste reverts back to a peachy flavor combining with an old Gouda taste.

M/D: Light, tingly, and wispy textures are the rule for this beer. The tartness from the beginning of each sip quickly envelopes my mouth, and all sides of my tongue. My sip finishes with the acidic dryness of a delicious white wine. I am upset as I near the end of the glass and my drinking experience. A phenomenal beer that I would spring for in less than a heartbeat if I was ever lucky enough to find myself in its presence again.

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Photo of errantnight
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of oline73
4.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Tomme and crew for surprising us by bringing this to our Lost Abbey tasting. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden amber color with not much head to speak of.

Smell: There is a sweetness throughout with strong tart lemon and vinegar notes. I'm also getting a funk from this beer. Very light.

Taste: This is a really tart beer. Lots of lemon and some vinegar notes as well. Quire tart in the finish. I only got a hint of peaches. This beer is extremely refreshing on such a hot day.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth tingly carbonation and and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: This beer was so light and refreshing. I loved the lemon notes. Just fantastic.

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Photo of rbrefbeerman
5/5  rDev +9.2%

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

WOW! Am I actually reviewing this beer? Well, very fortunate to have shared this one with friends this past weekend.

Poured into a large cognac snifter. The pour issued forth a hazy gold liquid, which held up a fluffy, meringue head at the end -about an inch thick- as if it were Atlas lifting the globe. Yes, I gave it a 5 in appearance.
The smell was wonderful, tart, sweet and ripe fruit. Some of the famed peach notes off in the back, but a lot of great spiciness too. Maybe a little cardamom?
Taste was massive. I definitely got a lot more peaches once I took the first sip. And from there it was a damned fruit-fest; got a little dried apricot, some traditional saison-type spice, sweet macintosh apple even.
Mouthfeel & Drinkability I think were superb. This is a very well-rounded flavor with a lot of layers, but its also subtle enough and refreshing that you will be tempted to immediately go for a refill. Well, that and the fact that you're splitting a YELLOW BUS & you sure as heck want more than just one sip.

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Photo of Habmike
4.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to craytonic for sharing this whale!

Beautiful lively orange and gold. Wonderful gradient of light orange and yellow hues on top to a deeper orange below. My pour came from the last 4-6 ounces of the bottle. No head really whatsoever.

Wild sour and fruity tart aroma. Light Peach aroma and similar fruits with some dirty funk.

Welcomed tart with a funky fruity blanket of happiness on my tongue. I could eat a peach for hours!

Medium-Light and flowing in my mouth.

I could definitely have more in my life. Much more. This one was a sour and semi peachy sunset for my palate.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at the DC Lambic & Sour Tasting on April 14, 2012. Served in a Lost Abbey Teku. Huge thanks to Brad for bringing this one out.

Pours a cloudy yellow-golden color with a thin white head. Decent retention and a few spots of lacing as it goes down.

The nose carries a moderate amount of peaches with some backing acidity and general fruitiness. A bit of earthiness there as well. Mild Brett funk.

The flavor kicks it up a notch with a really deep peach flavor that could clearly only come from the fruit of a single tree. Even after all these years, it's quite clear that a mythical tree alone could have produced such wondrous fruit. Oops, I was wrong -- this tastes like yellow peaches. The kind you can buy at any farmers market. Probably not from a shitty grocery store, though. I'll give them that.

After wading through the peach mystery, I got some light funk and moderate-to-heavy acidity with average carbonation and a light body with a dry finish.

Overall, this was quite good. I didn't like it as much as the Isabelle we had beside it, though it was more-intensely fruity. Overall, quite good, though not quite a to-do-for creation.

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Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. sampled oct 16/09 @ NotF.

pours crystal clear deep golden yellow with a thin layer of dense white head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves no lace.

aroma is good. malt vinegar. lemon. horse blanket and leathery funk. white bread and cracker. light alcohol. orange and tangerine. bit of cardboard.

taste is good. biscuit and white bread. bit of cracker. horse blanket. leather. lemon and malt vinegar. orange and tangerine. bit of alcohol. vanilla. raw oak. bit of earth. bit of cider vinegar. lemon and horse blanket character seems to dominate.

mouthfeel is good. fairly light body with a dry finish. medium-high carbonation level, slightly prickly.

drinkability is good. nice balance. good depth to the funk. very light acidity helps increase the drinkability. it didn't make me retarded, but it's still pretty good.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.57/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #300, may as well drink something memorable.

A - This looked to be as expected, which worked just fine. Light yellow, little bit of some orange comes through in highlights sometimes. Small white, foamy head, died down with minimal lacing.

S - Tart and sweet. Also, just due to not ever really looking into what this was and just wanting it because everyone told me to, it smelled surpringly peachy, although not as much as Flaming Fury. Littly oaky, touch of citrus, tiny bit of some sort of funk, but barely there. Get some nice barrel influence on this.

T - Really very good. It's definately tart, but not as tart as many of the other things I've had. Astringent, just a bit acidic, and it works well. The peach taaste is buried on the backend but makes a nice appearance as you continue to drink and it warms up a little bit. Very sweet on the end.

M - This is where this beer fell short for me, it had nice weight and carbonation for the style, but it finished quite thin and almost watery, kind of reminded me of a juice. It wasn't horrible, but it definately knocked the feel down for me.

D - Highly drinkable, I think the tartness would eventually get to you and make you stop or dial it back after a while, but sadly, I doubt I'll ever get my hands on enough to find out. Great beer, not the best sour ever, but very, very good.

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Photo of LAanne
2.75/5  rDev -40%

Photo of BucketBoy
4.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you Joel! Delicious sour peach, My second time having Yellow Bus; had after Veritas 001 through 011 to my Lost Abbey Teku glass. Super sour, little bit hazy but that I flew up to cloudy noses. All peach sour, really nice, touch acetic and touch lactic, nice even a little bit of green apple and apple skin. Flavored sour with a light rice wine vinegar, peaches, peaches, and peaches. Significantly more sour and significantly less Peach than when I had it about a year and a half ago. A very nice mouthfeel, soft, sensuous touch of carbonation. Very very nice! Thanks, Joel!

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Photo of waltonc
4.57/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to forgetfu for unveiling this at our sour tasting yesterday. Depending on whether this was poured from the top of bottom of the bottle, it ranged from a nice sparkling golden straw color, to a hazier beer, with ample white head. Lots of peach on the nose. Flavor is outstanding - bright, freshing acidity, peaches, tart lemon and apple. A very clean flavor, not a great deal of funk to speak of. Body is medium with ample carbonation. Overall, an outstanding beer. One of the best sours I have had. Very grateful for the opportunity to try this.

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

Richard, I cannot thank you enough for sharing this beer. I finally got to ride the Bus.

A: The beer pours a cloudy golden orange color with a finger or so of white head.

S: I'm absolutely amazed at how much peach aroma is here. The nose is pretty damn funky with lots of oak, some slight grass, and peach skin. There's a pleasant lactic sourness and even more peach.

T: A wonderful combination of sweet fruit flavor to go along with the tartness. Wonderful peach flavor that just dominates the palate at times. A great lactic sourness along with some tannic oak round out a very tasty beer.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation. Puckering and dry on the finish.

D: This beer was amazing. We opened a lot of good beers last Sunday, but none of them came close to this, in my suspect opinion. If only I could get my hands on a bottle.

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Yellow Bus from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.58 out of 5 with 83 ratings