Isabelle Proximus - The Lost Abbey

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Isabelle ProximusIsabelle Proximus

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414 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 414
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 7.41%
Wants: 870
Gots: 46 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 05-22-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 414 | Reviews: 215
Reviews by xnicknj:
More User Reviews:
Photo of orangesol
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%

Huge thanks to Greer for busting this one open at Campground Brewdown and making sure I got a pour.

A - Pours hazy yellow with a small half finger tall white head, quickly dissipating down to a light film, leaving very small streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of light lactic sourness, lemon zest, some musty basement and barnyard funk, dash of fruit, woody oak and some lightly toasted grain backing. Softer than I was expecting it to be but still pretty solid.

T - Starts off fairly similar to the nose. The lemony lactic sourness leads things off followed closely by the pale malt, must, nice amount of funk, nice hit of fruit zest and finally some oaky dryness. Finish is a touch tart but surprisingly smooth, leaving the palate quite dry.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very nice feel, not as overly sour as I was expecting it to be. Maybe a touch of oxidation but it was minuscule compared to the rest.

O - I honestly think this one is holding up surprisingly well for its age. It may very well be a shadow of its former self, I can't comment having never had it fresh, but I can tell you that this bottle was drinking quite well. I would love to have it again in the future.

Photo of brentk56
4.71/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color; even after all these years, the carbonation is intact and the beer pours with a nice head that leaves some lacing behind

Smell: Lemon, melon and funk notes

Taste: The lemon elements dominate from the outset, but there is much more underneath, including melon, funk and oak; the acidity is just right, adding a nice sour dimension that never overwhelms

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and a bit of a pucker

Overall: Waited a long time to open this one and it is amazing how well it is drinking after six years in my cellar; one of the best sours I have ever tasted

Photo of getkrunkhoe
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Fresh and up until 2-3 years ago it was an amazing offering from DFH, LA, Allagash, RussiAn River, and Avery. Just well made.

Had my last bottle 2 weeks ago and it didn't hold up as I had hoped. It was good but very "woody" not oak, woody. nonetheless a great beer overall.

Photo of brownbeer
4.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted at Falling Rock Taphouse. It's a good thing we tasted it when we did, they weren't selling anymore two days later.

A- Gushed on us but no worries. Pours hazy yellow with thin dirty white head.

S- Sweet fruit on the nose, light brett funk, candy orange.

T- Perfect sweet-tart balance, peachy, muscat grapes, a touch of band aid. A little less earthy than similar beers i've tasted.

M- Finishes medium bodied with a lasting sourness. Perfection. Balance.

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle shared by some great BA's.

A-Poured into sniffer, brightish orange and golden color, Nice head, that laced for a while
S-Tartness dominates at first with apples and sour citrus, musty earthy yeast as well
T-Again Tart and some sweetness upfront. Very acidic which makes the taste difficult toidentify right away. As it warms and I drink more, I get used to the acidity and taste citrus fruit, mild oak, and a peppery yeast spice
M-Very carbonated and light in mouth. Finishes fairly dry.
D-Difficult at first to drink but gets easier and more enjoyable with each sip and as it warms

Photo of tuckevalastin
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very light head and cider color

S: Sweet fruity smell. Apples and peach come through strong.

T: Clearly the sourness comes through the most but sweet fruits as well as citrus fruit are very noticable.

M: Sour and dry but has great balance and no alcohol heat comes through.

D: If you like sours this is very drinkable.

Overall, this is a great beer. It's definetly one to try if you get a chance.

Photo of joel66
4.76/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Popped open izzy with a couple great BA's

Poured a murky amber with a light pink Hugh

Nose was over ripe citrus and cabernet sauvignon

Taste was filled with grape, grape skin, granny smith apples and barnyard funk.

Very light mouthfeel, smooth with a dry finish.

I didn't expect much based on recent reviews stating izzy was past her prime. I could not disagree more. This has aged perfectly and was wonderful. Very happy that I have more!

Photo of tjthresh
3.9/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour bright golden yellow with a quickly fading pur white head. The aroma is of tangy sour cream with a pleasant oak character. The flavor is very lactic and cheesy, with a great oak tannin character. The beer clinches the back of my throat when a swallow. Very sour. Medium/light body with a nice amount of carbonation. I was expecting this to be very over carbonated. Overall this is really good and among some of the best sours I've tried.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle at our recent sour tasting.

I have wanted to try this for a long time and was happy to see it in the lineup. The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. The aroma is buttery popcorn with some tartness and citrus fruit. The flavor is tart lemons as well as some other citrus and yeast. The beer wasn't quite as complex as I thought it was going to be, but it is still very good and I am very glad I got to try it. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright, clear yellow-orange with a small head made of tiny white bubbles. Faint perfume nose of sour banana and peaches. Wicked sour apple, pomegrante, cherry taste. Takes a mellower, bretty cheese/buttery turn with some toasted sourdough. It gets you right between the jaw and ear. Yummy.

Photo of pwoods
4.7/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shane(beachbum1975) for sharing this bottle, and thanks to numbeercruncher for the bottle you traded me :)

750ml brown corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an orangish tangerine. Nice white frothy head. Some retention and decent lacing.

S: Good funk. Horse blanket, wet dog, gym sock. Astringent acidic fruits layered on top of very tart fruits. Definitely some lemon and grapefruit quality but maybe some underlying apricot or peach? Some light earthy and musty tones.

T/M: Very sour and tart. Very dry. A sour and and puckering tartness similar to Beatification but less far less funk. Still a good bit of funk with some barnyard, wet hay qualities. Sourness really builds strong in the swallow, reminding me a bit like a spritz of lemon juice down the throat. Which brings in the lemon and lime and maybe some pineapple tart and juicy fruitiness. Definitely a very dry brew with supporting leather or hide flavors. The barrel aging further adds the pleasant funky and tannin qualities. The body is medium light with lively carbonation that pricks the tongue. Finishes very dry and decently puckering.

D: I'd be kidding myself if I said that I could drink an entire bottle of this myself but I'd convince myself to try :) Damn fine beer. This really needs to be a yearly release. By far the best Wild I've had.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was fortunate enough to be present at a tasting where this was opened up.

A: Cork came out with a loud pop. Poured into a snifter glass, the beer was a golden yellow with very little head and no lacing. A few small carbonation bubbles here and there.

S: Very tart, lots of apples and a little vinegar, quite sour and bretty. Lots going on, with some grass, vanilla/oak, and other light fruits - peaches and apricots. Extremely inviting.

T: A really nice tartness, slightly mouth puckering, but not overdone at all. Lots of green apple and some lemon, some berries and apricots. There is a very faint barnyard funk going on, but it is in the background to the tart fruit flavors. Light oak and vanilla are also in the background.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks very smooth, and as mentioned above not overly sour.

O: An amazing beer, I am grateful to have been able to have a snifter of it and hope that one day I will be able to have some more. One of the best beers I have had thus far.

Photo of DJButters
4.26/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this monster side by side with Veritas 004 Dec 2012.

I wont be going into extreme detail since all tasting notes can be reviewed below but I can tell you that the nose and taste is fantastic. This beer can last much longer and as an american sour, it is as close as one can get to lambic/gueuze. Beautiful golden color, amazing fluffy head, if you can have a beer always look like this... it would be perfection. Grapefruit notes on the palate. IP + V004 blend is amazing do to what I felt was better mouthfeel and carb on the IP.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared this one with 2 great people after a long, long time of wanting to try it and then actually just stumbling upon it. What an adventure...
Had this one at Monk's Cafe poured into a Cantillon wine glass.

A: Poured near no head with a thin white wisp that retained at the top. Brew was semi-cloudy bright orange with medium carbonation continually rising to the top. Lacing is rather spotty.

S: Wood, sour skunk, and a variety of wild berries.

T: Wood, oak, cherry tartness, raspberries, citrus rinds. Overtones of malt make themselves apparent after my palate becomes accustomed to the sourness. Sour apple in the finish as well as a sweet/tart strawberry towards the end. So incredibly complex...

M: Light to medium bodied, carbonated and rather coarse. Brew is extremely clean and crisp. Finish is dry with almost no aftertaste. The journey is very long and enjoyable, but when it ends, it doesn't linger.

D: The best interpretation of a sour I've had so far. This mythical brew is worthy of the hype. The only thing I regret is that its over. Can't wait to have it again somehow, someday. The different flavors that reveal itself are so endless that it begs you to have more and more to discover more and more.

Photo of prototypic
4.52/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a very hazy golden color. Minute chunks of sediment can be seen swimming about. Given the amount in the bottom of the bottle, that's not surprising. Sitting atop is a white head that's about a finger deep. It dissipated very quickly and left only a very light, spotty bit of lace on the glass.

Smell: The nose is very, very good. It's citrusy sweet and tart initially. There's some lemon (primarily), orange, grapefruit, and maybe even apple present. An interesting spicy aroma blends pretty well although I can't identify it. It is a little funky due to the use of Brett. It's musky and earthy smelling and has the ol' "barnhouse" thing going. A bit of an oak smell emerges as it opens up a little and really plays a nice complementary role. I like that aspect of the nose a lot. It's very complex and enticing.

Taste: The flavor is equally is good as the nose, if not better. It's sweet and a little sugary up front. The citrus lemon and grapefruit are a bit of a jumpstart to get the "tart" engine buzzing. Tart it is. Initially, it's mildly tart, but intestifies with each passing drink. Personally, I thought that was an interesting characteristic here. While it is tart and very sour, it's not relentlessly so. It's a very appetizing tartness. It is a little spicy, but I still can't identify it. It's a very secondary element here. The funky "Brett" flavor is indeed musky, earthy, and a little acidic. Again, it's nicely done here. Definitely not too funky. The oak flavor adds quite a bit though its presence is somewhat subtle. It finishes sweet and sour.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a very smooth feel. Very silky. Carbonation is pretty active considering it yielded a minimal head and short retention. Nonetheless, they nailed feel here. Drinkability is very high. With a smooth feel like this and low abv at 7%, I'd have no problem downing a 750 if I were so inclined. But, I'm not into sessioning sours so I probably wouldn't have any more than that.

Isabelle Proximus the fine result of a concerted efforted from some of our best brewers. I can't say it's any better than some of the individual efforts of those same brewers. We've been blessed with some fine beers from all of them. True to their form, this one is excellent, as well. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely check it out.

Photo of mikey711
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has been a long time want of mine and thanks goes out to the people who made it happen

A: Golden hue, cloudy with carbonation rushing up from the bottom of the glass. A small white head forms and leaves a nice ring around the top with out leaving any lace

S: Lots of oak and earthy wood notes. Plenty of sourness as well as tart lemon, hay, grass. Also touches of vanilla and breadiness are noticable as well.

T: Citrusy lemon provides both a touch of sweetness, tartness and sourness. Very earthy tsting as well with wood hay and a bit of a grape/vinous quality to it.

M: Slight acidity and only a mild vinegary feel. A touch of heat is also slightly present which i have never experienced with a sour. Not as dry as others.

D: One of the easiest to drink sours I have ever had. I would definitely like to drink more of it in the future as I do not think it has hit its peak yet

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
5/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Truely deserving of a perfect 5. One of the best beers ever. Bought a bottle at Lost Abbey for my brothers birthday split between 3 people.

Pours a nice golden color with a thin tan head and nice lacing. Nice looking beer.

Wow. Aroma is amazing. Lots of sour funk but a good amount of Brett funk as well. Nice maltiness too.

Taste is awesome. Nice and sour but also balanced with a nice malty sweetness. Not too much sour but you know it's there for sure. Truely a perfect beer. Great funk from the Brett too.

Mouthfeel is nice and dry but with a nice malty sweet ness in the finish. Great carb.

Overall I am still wishing I could be drinking it. All of us wish we had another bottle or could drink it all night. Very deserving of my perfect 5. I reserve it for my faves and this one is a fave.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.57/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thar she blows! tried this like 3-4 years ago but never reviewed it, i do not think i was even reviewing back then. so, finally.... i get to tag this one.

poured a light golden yellow with light white head.

nose was fruity, complex, light sour lemon with blends of citrus.

pretty tart up front, complex fruits with ample sourness. light oak through out. very gueuze like although a bit sweeter. some cheese deep in the back. fruity finish.

light carbonation, sticky and sweet. semi dry finish.

overall, blown away. exceeded all my expectations.

Photo of nickd717
3.67/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Transcribed from 2008 notes.

Really, really damn expensive bottle at Toronado - 40 bucks! This sour ale was very good but not as life-changing as I expected. Personally I liked The Angels Share considerably better.

Color was a cloudy golden yellow with a small white head.

Aroma was really sour and funky with wild yeast, lemon, and sour dry white wine.

Flavor was yeasty and really funky with Brett and lemony sourness, oak, and sour white grapes.

Medium-bodied with acidity on the palate and fairly high carbonation.

Decent and I liked the 8oz or so I had, but nowhere near as good as the hype.

Photo of MiScusi
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a somewhat hazy, kinda clear light blonde with a fading white bubbly head.

S- just smells sour to me. blame it on my poor senses. When I initially had it at the brewery during the release I got a bit of barn type of funkiness out of it.

T- very sour. On the same level with Beatification and some of the better gueuzes of Belgium.

M- really light, the carbonation gets worked out of it pretty easily, also similar to gueuzes I've had.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Golden orange. Small white head and a collar of white bubbles.

Smell - Acidic. A touch of vinegar, but otherwise more of a light fruit acidity. Like an apricot.

Taste - Much fruitier. Very nice acidity. Apricot fruits. White wine. A touch of vinegar sourness coming in the back, but that's to be expected at this bottle's age. Clean sour.

Mouthfeel - Light with a nice white wine finish. Excellent and easy to drink.

Overall - Really good, especially for what I can ascertain is an unfruited sour. Retains a great deal of flavor without adjuncts, which is impressive for an American sour. Good wine flavors, but the vinegar is a minor detractor.

Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into several glasses. HUGE thanks go to Stakem for finally helping me right a wrong with this beer from a few years ago.

Pours a hazed grapefruit color in the glass, topped with thin foamy layer of bright-white head. This mostly retains with some frothy edging, leaving back a moderately robust cascade of lace that slowly drips down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a mélange of tart lemon, tropical fruit, earth, oak and funk. The lemon is very strong in this and you kind of have to dig deep to get the rest.

The taste is similar, with lemon, oak, earth and funk all standing out. Like the nose, that lemon tartness is fairly strong. Slight acidity hangs on the edges. The finish is dry and oaky with more lingering acidic notes. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a chewy creaminess to the carbonation that sits with some heft in the mouth. That 7% is well hid overall though.

This was good for me but not great. I liked the complexity but all of that tartness and eventually acidity just go to be a bit too intrusive on the other flavors at times. I think this one has maybe already crested the hill? I’m not sure but I am very grateful to Adam for finally helping me try this. Thanks again man!

Photo of davod23
4.62/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cracked open my only Isabelle last night, just for the hell of it. Poured into my Lost Abbey chalice.

Pour is a clear, golden yellow. Fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. Nice enough looking beer, but not surprising.

Smell is of lemons, tropical fruits (and I'm not talking about c*!&suckers from Guatemala /George Carlin), and barnyard funk. Quite nice. I detect pineapple, but it's extremely understated compared to the lemons and funk.

Taste is complex and delicious. A brief hint of sweetness at the front, followed quickly by a light punch of sourness. Lemons, a faint woodiness. I would like it to be maybe a *touch* more sour in the end, but this is world class stuff nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the style - effervescent, light, crisp, and quite dry. Excellent.

Drinkability: It just doesn't get any more drinkable. I found it difficult to pace myself, because this goes down so easily.

I wish I had more bottles of this stuff, but I don't think I want to bother trying the trade forums for this. Too big a pain in the ass for a beer like this.

Lost Abbey frustrates me to no end, because although they have their share of quality control problems, they occasionally put out stuff that I cannot justify ignoring (Duck Duck Gooze, Red Poppy, Isabelle). Sometimes, it's just too good. Damn it.

Photo of thagr81us
4.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one during the 'We Want The Funk!' tasting that was graciously hosted by beermeX2! Big thanks goes out to sincereNC for sharing this one with the group! A LONG time want of mine and was really glad to see it come out during this tasting! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a hazy yellow with a half finger pure white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, funk, fruit, and tart on the followthrough only. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Ovearll this was an excellent brew. I found this one to be very smooth in flavor which made it incredibly easy to drink. How easy you might ask??? Well there is a photo of my pounding the last 1/8th of the bottle somewhere on the internet. Yeah, it was that good. I have been looking to try this beer for as long as I have been a BA. Really glad it finally happened, but I would love one for myself so I can crack it open on a special occassion with some other friends (I'm talking to you traders). A definite must try without a doubt!

Photo of calise1122
4.92/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Round 2 of a superb lineup for this evening. Thanks to goodspeed94 for bring this and FW12 to our little holiday tasting. We started with a 2007 Darkness and where he just wouldn't let me get my life on track, Isabelle was so much more kind... Took a break between the two in order to start browning a nice big pork butt, then back off to let it get its braise on.

Nice clean bone white head with big ass frothy bubbles exploding all around, which slowly fades away to nearly nothing. Shit this beer actually looks funky... with a lime, orange, almost aqua green color when held up to the light above. Away from the light it has that golden straw color to it a bit, but never loses that neon-green toxic look. This is a dirty sexy looking beer.

Who brought the funk, gotta have that funk... Man, really really really sour champagne, citric acid, tarty farty aromas going on here. Real sour in the way that you dream a great wild ale would be. I would say true to the style, but I am hard pressed to find others in this style so pungent. I mean I just browned the heck out of a 4.5 pound butt of pork and Isabelle is not phased at all. Just cuts right threw the visable layer of smoke in the kitchen. We were trying to describe what it might smell like, and the closest I could come was if my big golden lab got loose and ran through the woods in pouring rain for an hour... finally came back with shit and mud all over him... then took a bath in a puddle that had a bunch of lemon and lime juice. That sounds about right.

The taste seamlessly follows the smell. Funk, sour, stink cheese, Labrador nuts, lime juice... it bites the side of your tongue and won't let go. If you are not into sour funky beers this may give you a nose bleed... it doesn't try to be subtle. We tasted an Orval right afterwards (wanted more brett in our lives) and it was sort of disappointing. It is like the Morning Guy skit on Seinfeld. IP is Night Brett... out till the breaka breaka, doing who knows what with god knows who. Night Brett is out of his mind, completely reckless with no care in the world for Morning Brett. We opened up the bottle of Orval after and as always, Morning Brett got screwed from Night Brett. The taste buds where shot, any greatness that Morning Brett prepared was donkey punched the night before, left dulled and muted from the insane excitment that comes with hanging out with Night Brett.

I actually thought this was very drinkable. It was fresh and refreshing, leaving me wanting more. Which led to my emotional hangover, realizing, this is not something I will come across easy again. It will however make the rotation I have on top of my cabinet. I keep 5 bottles only (to hard and messy for me to keep them all) and only put a new one up if it knocks an old one off. It's my up-to-date top 5 list and Isabelle just bump and grinded her way up there.

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Isabelle Proximus from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 414 ratings.