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Isabelle Proximus - The Lost Abbey

Not Rated.
Isabelle ProximusIsabelle Proximus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

394 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 394
Reviews: 211
rAvg: 4.59
pDev: 7.41%
Wants: 828
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John_M on 05-22-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 394 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0


4.5/5  rDev -2%

12-12-2012 03:21:11 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +8.9%

12-14-2011 12:44:54 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bmanning for sharing this with myself, Amyliz4, and hhanson at a recent tasting.

A: Poured a somewhat cloudy apricot color with a tight white head and a good amount of lacing as it went down. Carbonation bubbles apparent in the tulip.

S: Right off the nose, excellent sour and fruit combination. Ripe peaches, green apple skin, and touches of oak. Moderate horse blanket character. Brisk lactic character without any acetic qualities.

T: Again, beautiful balance here. The sourness is in your face, but not all too overpowering. Beautiful notes of peaches, apricots, pear, green apple, and oak.

M: Quite dry with good carbonation. Great fruit/sour balance. Very complex.

D: Excellent. More intense and complex than Veritas 004, in my opinion. An excellent beer; the hype is well-deserved.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 11:16:23 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Polished 24-karat gold with a small splash of orange juice and several steady streams of fine bubbles. The combination of wild yeast and oak aging was bound to play havoc with head and lace. The dirty ivory crown is compact, nearly featureless and is laying down almost no lace. Keeping style in mind, it's still a good look.

Brettanomyces was appreciated as soon as the cork was extracted and the gun smoke faded. The barnyard funk smells especially clean and bright and lemony, not down and dirty and grungy as it can sometimes smell. If the nose is any indication, IP will be one fantastic wild ale.

Isabelle Proximus is incredibly complex beer that is almost indescribably delicious. There's so much going on with each mouthful that it will take time (and most of the bottle) to sort out. I'm not sure how age affects beer of this sort, but it's drinking beautifully right now. As a point of reference, the release date was June 28, 2008.

The beer has an mild underlying sweetness that gradually eases into a mildly evaporative dryness on the finish. Primarily, however, it's as tart-tangy-sour and acidic as a gueuze. The entire tongue gets a workout as each and every taste bud is instantly engaged on contact. In it's own way, this American wild ale is an intense as a highly hopped IPA.

There's a ton of tart lemon peel, complemented by Sauvignon Blanc, white wine vinegar, new mown hay and a moderate amount of high-class horse blanket funk. That might not sound very good to the uninitiated, but trust me, it is. The oak barrels didn't add a great deal. In fact, I wouldn't have been able to tell that they had been used if unaware of the specifics of the beer's creation.

Although the mouthfeel is not voluminous and creamy (these things never are), it has a surprising amount of viscosity and coats the mouth in fine fashion. It also squeezes the salivary glands like nobody's business. Pucker up.

Tomme Arthur (The Lost Abbey), Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Lorenzo Dabove, Rob Tod (Allagash), Adam Avery (Avery) and Sam Caglione (Dogfish Head) have every reason to be proud of Isabelle Proximus. This expertly and lovingly crafted ale is right up there with Vinnie's Temptation and Supplication, as well as Rob's Interlude, as the best American wild ales to have ever entered my glass. Kudos to Sam for painting the label.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 22:09:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2014 20:21:23 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this one from the Sinner;s relase when it came out and have not had the chance to try it yet. I decided to pop the top off it tonight and give it a go and I am glad that I did. Served at cellar temp and consumed via a snifter on 08/28/2008.

The pour was very nice, extremely hazy golden amber color greated me as I opened the bottle. A nice head, maybe an inch and a half in height the came up over the top and settled down to a broken layer across the top and some light side glass lace. Lots of sediment on the bottom and floating around in the glass.

The aroma, shit I do not even know how to put this in words. Super Brett Overload would be good, others might say perfect. This was just tremendously good. Super sour and funky in every sense of the word. Just compeltly blowing apart the senses. The flavor was more of the same. Just rediculous amounts of super funky and sour notes that were just layered on top of each other. Lots of funky Brett an light fruit notes. Hints of pear and peac, but just retarded bitter. This is the most bitter ale I have ever encountered. Awesome body on this one as well, medium with delicate carbonation and a rich sultry feel that was just friggin unreal. A sipper not due to the ABV but the huge sourness of it. Nearly impossible to take a large sip, but why would you want to.

This was just awesome. Super bitter, nice hints of pears and some light cherry almost. Rich, complex, just wonderful. Lost Abbey pulls off anothero ne with this gem. I dont care about 30 bucks a bottle, I would get more in a heartbeat. One of the best beers i have had period.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2008 00:39:25 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got the privilege to try this at t0rin0's tasting on 9/5/09.

A: Pale gold/yellow in color without any real head; a thin layer of white foam.

S: Grapes, apples, lemon, and pineapple. A nice level of tartness along with some hints of oak and sweetness.

T: First sensation is a hit of tartness, but it is quite well balanced as a sweetness soon comes through. Lots of tart fruit flavors, with the most notable being pineapple, grapes, lemon.

M: Fairly effervescent, medium body, a nice acidity.

D: Just about perfect on all levels. A beer that certainly deserves all the hype.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 02:16:17 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94


4.5/5  rDev -2%

11-15-2011 04:21:34 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dark straw-colored body crowned with a small, whiteish head.

Smell: Tart, sour aroma smelling of vinegar, cheese, oaky white wine, citrus fruit -- it's an entire meal!

Taste: An amazing mixture -- a sip of a fine French chardonnay paired with a noticeably briny-tasting cheese and one lone drop of pineapple juice. A plop of French mustard atop a sour lemon wedge. Musty earthiness and a bit lactic throughout. Man, there's just a great, funky yeast flavor going on here. Finishes with a light, lingering sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. All the while there's a softness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Quite nice. Kudos to Lost Abbey and all of the other brewers involved in creating this lovely beverage.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 03:03:09 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of spycow


5/5  rDev +8.9%

11-27-2011 17:55:41 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313


5/5  rDev +8.9%

11-26-2011 14:00:30 | More by GRG1313
Photo of emerge077


4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you Jason for sending this bottle, it's been patiently cellaring for awhile now. Recently shared it with a dozen fellow beer nerds... review from written notes.

Served in a mini Chouffe tulip (RIP Feb 2010- May 2011).
Bright gold with sharp clarity and a dollop of white foam, it looks like a traditional gueuze. Spotty sea foam lace dots the inside of the glass. Lazy ascending trails of rising carbonation.

Aromas of white wine minerality, stone fruits, sour grapes, slight dusty sweetness. Mellower than the bottle we had last summer, that one was pretty funky and gushed a bit, but not this particular one.

Tannic oak, white grapefruit, sour grape, lemony, vinous and fruity, with some lingering traces of sweetness. Dominating citrus and grape fruitiness, dry and tannic, yet also very refreshing and quenching. Effervescent and ethereal. One example of American Wild Ales approaching the ballpark of traditional Belgian Gueuze, trailing closely behind Beatification.


Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 02:45:18 | More by emerge077
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


4.5/5  rDev -2%

11-14-2011 18:10:04 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer


4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straw-colored and rather hazy, almost opaque in my snifter. An inch of head rises and then quickly dissipates, leaving no lace as it falls. Pretty standard gueuze-like appearance.

Smell: Funky as hell in an absolutely bizarre way. Sweat, dirty socks and a generous amount of salt and musty barrel. I've never smelled anything quite like this. I don't know if it's pleasant, but it's certainly compelling.

Taste & mouthfeel: Very sour and fruity, but in a decidedly American way - this has a clean and concentrated sourness without a ton of vinegar-like flavors, and the oak is plainly noticeable. Flavors of apple cider, lemon peel and tannic oak dominate the palate. No sweetness here; this one is bone-dry. The finish ends on a slightly bitter and tannic note, much like an amped up gueuze. Carbonation is pretty much ideal; it's lively but not excessive, reminding me a whole lot of the Cantillon gueuze that I drank a few hours before this one.

Notes: Great stuff and I'm glad to see more American brewers attempting styles like this. The closest thing I can compare it to is Russian River's Beatification, and while I don't think it's quite up to par with that brew, it's still highly enjoyable. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2008 05:33:27 | More by largadeer
Photo of JAHMUR


5/5  rDev +8.9%

11-15-2011 01:07:33 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of RblWthACoz


4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a barely fogged gold with a very thin white head. Nose is eslactic, slightly spiced, and a bit fruity sweet. Flavor is sour, yes. Biting almost acidic apples. Lactic tones are in there as well. Feel is that slicker almost slimy thing with a minor carbonation, as you'd figure. I have to say this is a let down. Sure it carries the intensity of a gueuze, but it's too tight and acidic IMO. Just doesn't work for me. I find that Brute is a much more drinkable gueuze-like sour in comparison to this. This just doesn't do it for me. Too much acid.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 02:47:18 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of MasterSki


4.38/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Sixth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer.

A - Rich apricot yellow color, with foam that dissolved by the time the server returned my class. Bubbly - almost like a dark champagne.

S - Chardonnay, sour apples and cherries, lemon, gueuze-y funk and musty barn. Really tart.

T - The sour apple really comes out here, although it still retains the other flavors I detected with my nose. Complex - I think I'd have sensed more with a larger sample

M - Tingly, with the perfect amount of carbonation. Acidic as well - leaves me with the same sensation that I get after eating a very tart granny smith.

D - Could drink a few, but it's so tart that I'd have to mix in other brews between.

I'm not all that into Wild Ales, so bump up the drinkability if you love 'em.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 16:20:48 | More by MasterSki
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 19:32:36 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh


4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beer I seriously thought I would never try showed up at a recent tasting. Thank you very much for this opportunity Dave, its much appreciated.

Hazy yellow beer with a thin white head. Great looking. Carbonation is steady and made up of small to medium bubbles that rise through the beer really quickly. The head leaves some lacing on the glass, not much though.

Strong sour aroma, lots of fruity, almost grape like aromas in there. Smells like an exaggerated white wine.

Strong mixture of lactic and citric acid flavors. Very tart and bitter. Hits me in the corners of my mouth. No acetic / vinegar flavors in there at all. Completely clean and quenching. Completely wipes my palate clean. No aftertaste, there is a slight funk in there but overall its a wonderful little sour.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 20:24:40 | More by drabmuh
Photo of SocalKicks


4.25/5  rDev -7.4%

01-27-2014 06:03:31 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of jlindros


4.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Shared at my Birthday whale tasting. Big thanks to Duffy and Kyle for sharing this baby. This has been at the top of my list of wants for a very long time.

Pours with pretty much no head as expected, hazy blonde orange peach color.

Nose has great sour fruit, sour peach and nectarine like, hint of funk and tartness, light malt coming through, light bready yeasty and acidic bite, light vinous grape skin, musty even.

Taste brings plenty of sour fruit, tart as hell!, golden malts, a sour peach nectarine kinda fruit with even a hint of citrus, as well as more vinous grape skin, musty as well, a bit wild funky bready malt, and just a bit of grassy funk. Sour vinegary flavor, acetic acid, but juicy and drinkable.

Mouth is lighter bodied, but decent carb, little flemmy, acidic.

Overall very good, awesome sour, almost as good as it can get for a straight up American sour.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 18:14:21 | More by jlindros
Photo of Mora2000


4.22/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 02:54:14 | More by Mora2000
Photo of oline73


4.68/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yet another beer at Sour and Bitter that I never thought I would get to try. Poured into my stemless wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with an amber hue. There is hardly any head at all.

Smell: Sweet and quite tart, some mild funk and citrus peel notes. I'm getting some warm alcohol in the finish.

Taste: Not as sweet as the smell would indicate. Some gueuze like fink with a citrus peel tartness. The finish is funky and sour. The sweet and sour notes play together perfectly.

Mouthfeel: Medium body but not heavy at all. Mild carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: This beer is fantastic. Perfect level of tartness with enough sweet malt to back it up. I would love to have some more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 03:03:13 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 04/14/12 notes. Big thanks to Darrel for sharing this one at our DC Sour Tasting. Tried side by side with Synergy, Yellow Bus, and DDG.

a - Pours a bright murky yellow color with one inch of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, funk, cheese, oak, sour grapes, lemon, citrus, and apples. Super sour and funky, just a perfect nose.

t - Tastes of funk, cheese, barnyard and earthy notes, oak, sour fruits, lightly sweet fruits, citrus, lemon, sour apples and grapes, floral notes. Even funkier then the nose, and even better.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very crisp and easy to drink.

o - Overall this was one of the top 2 or 3 sours at the tasting and one of the best I've ever had; it slightly edged out DDG and was much better then Yellow Bus and Synergy. I thought it was much funkier then DDG, which was more fruit forward. Awesome funky wild ale; just an amazing beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 01:17:45 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.55/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, pale, almost white colored head. The beer shows a hazy, orange-tinged straw color as it sits in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip, but shows a hazed, glowing gold / straw color when held up to the light. The aroma is sour and funky, possibly more funky than it is sour though. There is a very strange fruitiness here, sort of tropical (kiwi), but tartly citrus like (lemon) and somehow reminds me of over-ripened strawberries. Other funky notes of ripe cheese, spicy oak, ample sweat-dried horse blanket, sharp phenolics, orange zest and moldy cured leather are all noticeable. This almost has a light herbal component to it, perhaps a bit like nettle and there is a nice cracker-like grain aroma that is noticeable once you start digging around. The biggest aromatic components are the ripe-funky-cheese character, tart lactic acid, and the signature Brettanomyces funk. Perhaps a bit too oak-leaning (though it only has a soft, spicy / hot oak character) for a typical Gueuze, but it could easily pass for some sort of traditional Lambic as far as the nose goes.

Very sour, much more than the aroma might have suggested. The bracing tartness is very Lactic, though there seems to be a touch of acetic character here, especially towards the finish. Soft and creamy feeling, despite the prickly carbonation, with a body that belies the bone dry palate (just like a good Gueuze should be). Spicy oak notes add a touch of warmth to the finish along with a touch of alcohol heat. Flavors of tart grapefruit are offset towards the finish by an almost savory, though quite funky, marinated mushroom flavor; the particular marinade seems to be a mix of Worcester sauce, perhaps a dash of miso and something almost onion / garlic like. This last note actually lingers on at the roof of my mouth long after I have finished each sip, though it is quite light in effect. This has a funky, ripe cheese flavor to it that is reminiscent of a stinky French, farmhouse cheese as well as ample Brettanomyces funk of butyric acid, barnyard notes and sweaty / musty horse-blanket notes.

Once the palate gets used to the bracing acidity (which happens after the first couple sips), this becomes exceedingly drinkable. As it warms up that weird, savory, marinated, onion-juice soaked, mushroom note becomes a bit more noticeable; really it adds more of an interesting dimension to things than anything though, especially since it is so different than anything I have tasted in a Sour beer before. Still it makes me wonder, what fermentation by-product tastes like onions. The second pour of this restores the prickly carbonation, but still does not detract from the soft, velvety mouthfeel.

A fantastic beer, definitely not a Gueuze clone (I don't think the brewers meant it to be anyway) as it brings some interesting flavor / funk notes that I have never found in a Lambic before. The light, but more noticeable than usual, oak spiciness also adds another dimension. Simply tasty, though in a very complex manner. This has a bit more heft to it than a typical Gueuze, though the only way I really notice this is because it is taking me longer to drink than a 750ml of Gueuze usually takes me. The texture of this beer really is quite nice though, so soft, velvety and creamy. I certainly cannot get enough of this & I am now wishing that I was somehow able to get more than my 12 bottle allocation of this; hopefully this will be a semi-regular offering that I can get more of.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 05:37:50 | More by Gueuzedude
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Isabelle Proximus from The Lost Abbey
100 out of 100 based on 394 ratings.