Isabelle Proximus
The Lost Abbey

Isabelle ProximusIsabelle Proximus
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Wild Ale
4.63 | pDev: 7.13%
The Lost Abbey
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Isabelle ProximusIsabelle Proximus
Notes: In March of 2006 five guys, Adam Avery, Vinnie Cilurzo, Rob Todd, Tomme Arthur and Sam Calagione accompanied Lorenzo Dabove, The Prince of Pajottenland, through a tour of Belgium's finest geuze producers. Many of the mysteries of lambic production were answered along the way. They vowed to return to the states to brew a sour beer celebrating their experiences. In November of 2006 they reunited at Port Brewing to brew Isabelle Proximus.

In this bottle, you'll find the answers to many of the questions that were posed along their journey near the river Senne. However, like the mysteries of lambic beers, there remains one lingering question that was left unresolved. We hope like us, the next time you're on a pilgrimage to Brussels you'll drop by the Empire Club and let us know whether you prefer Green or Orange...
Reviews: 220 | Ratings: 446 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of OneBeertoRTA
OneBeertoRTA from California

4.8/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Big props to me ;) for bringing this to DLD for the bottle share...

Good Ole Izzy is still hanging on. A bit of the sour has been lost but the light faded golden glow still shines in the 75 degree heat of Munster Indiana in middle May. Plenty of carbonation and as sour as any LA offerings to date. I've hunted Sasquatch in Juno Alaska and ridden Unicorns in Tokoriki but this was up there in amazing experiences.

Props to @bjhorvat for ensuring this was drank early in the tasting, #37 to be exact. Good job A hole.

May 16, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.39/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I guess you could save reviews for big round numbers, but shit man, when you get the chance you gotta get out there and dance. Thanks to leftpaw for bringing this, not too many in the wild or captivity these days.

You get that golden sour base color coming out, thin 1/4" white head that can't stick around for long. Not here for a long time, here for a good time. Aroma was well, sour, lemon and oak, really no one component dominates here, vague non descript stuff.

Taste is a good blend of stuff, I dunno if it is the American gueuze counterpart, but I would say this stuff is pretty good, blend of DDG & RR -tions I believe? Nice light mineral dry sour, white oak like notes. Tiny bit of leather and funk throughout the mouth feel. Carbonation still on point. Awesome to get a glimpse into where it all started for this style of beers that is seeing exponential growth. Overrated perhaps to give up the newmoney trade ammo for such a thing, sure, but still a neat starting point.

Feb 09, 2017
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.46/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle.

Pours hazy gold with a moderate head and short retention. A few spots of lacing and a ring of foam for the duration.
Aromatics lead off with tart apples, crushed chewable aspirins, peach pits, and gypsum. Fruity and tart. Light bodied and crisp. Soured apples and pithy fruit on the palate. Grapefruit and spent fruit pits with a minerally undercurrent.
Finishes sharp, dry, fruity, and acidic.

Probably the best American version of a good Geuze I've tried. All the classic profiles are there with the added fruit and aspirin character which seems to be the Lost Abbey trademark. Just not as lively and bursting with life as I was hoping for. Probably past prime.

Apr 22, 2016
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.35/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a hazy golden-orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with grain, fruit, funk, acidic, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, fruit, funk, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with fantastic sour characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle.

Jul 28, 2015
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IrishColonial from Texas

4.96/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pour an unfiltered golden apricot color with white head that subsides quickly. Smell is apricots, lemon with lots of barnyard hay, grass, and funky dankness. Some slight barrel comes through. Very crisp without a high blue cheese factor. Taste is highly complex: Very tart and lemony with a high funk factor that meshes with a large barrel presence. Tart peaches and apricots with funky undertones throughout. Mouthfeel is slightly dry but full bodied. Overall one of the best and most complex beers I have had. Never had it fresh but it is still delicious. Seek it out if you can.

Mar 19, 2015
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Dodgerrigo77 from California

4.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed with great friends, including Mr.Arthur & Big Daddy
Nice yellow-golden color, some lacing from the small foam head but quickly gone and screaming drink me!
Smell is a lil barnyard funk, lemon, can't wait to taste.
Not acidic! Great mellow sour/tart some fruit in it. Its definetely mellowed in last couple of years. Really easy on finish. I dont pick up oxidation at all.
Perfect carbonation level, feel like I could drink whole bottle in two gulps.
Really lucky to share this with friends, definetely worth the hype, fantastic!

Feb 10, 2015
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getkrunkhoe from California

5/5  rDev +8%

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.

Aug 27, 2014
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orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev -3.5%

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.

Aug 17, 2014
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.71/5  rDev +1.7%
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

May 26, 2014
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nrs207 from Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Hazy, golden yellow, not really any head to speak of. It's hard to describe, but it just looked delicious.

S - Awesome, even after all these years. Super fruity, surprisingly so. Smells quite tart and a bit funky.

T - Follows the smell really nicely. Really makes your mouth water with a great level of tartness, and the fruitiness and slight funk.

M - Still perfectly carbed, super smooth on the way down.

O - With beers like this, it's always hard to justify the cost. I'm just glad this lived up to the hype for me. I think this is possibly the best non-fruited sour I've had, and a toss up for the best overall sour I've had. Definitely beats Cable Car, DDG, Beat, and rivals Crianza, which are my other favorites to date. Overall, it's a really impressive wild ale.

Apr 27, 2014
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought over by rvdoorn last weekend. Never thought I'd see this one, so a big cheers for the gesture man.

From a 75cl bottle into a small wine glass
November 2006

APPEARANCE: Pours a small white head that quickly recedes to a ring. Lighter gamboge in color, hazy, with no carbonation evident. This one looks rather flat by the end though, as no head sticks around at all.

SMELL: Acidity, lemon tartness and light melon notes up front. Citrus aromas with fruity and acidic sourness for the most part. Really well balanced and forthcoming. Great.

TASTE: Lemon sourness up front with hay, some acidity and melon sweetness at the swallow. Fruity sweetness, lemon citrus sourness, notes of lime and a light acidity comes and goes rather quickly on the finish. Really nice, with a dry but flavorful finish. Great stuff, though a touch too dry at the finish perhaps.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes dry. A touch puckering perhaps, but relatively crisp.

OVERALL: This was really nice. The nose is a bit more impressive than the flavors as the aftertaste is a touch too dry for my liking, but nevertheless, this is an excellent wild that was very much enjoyed by the whole group. Some really nice flavors with a good feel on this one as well. Thanks again rvdoorn. This was a surprisingly good one.

Feb 28, 2014
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elNopalero from California

4.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a delight to try. It poured a ghostly white-gold, with a slight haze from the chill. There was a delicate yet definitely sour-tart aroma on it, funky and fruity. The flavor is smoothly rounded, and approachable. Like a nuanced sour, with just a touch of funk and a cornucopia of summer fruit.

Dec 11, 2013
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Rosanne from California

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was my first sour and I was expecting it to be awful. Then I realised that I had tasted beers that were sour, but were not 'a' sour. It was delicious and I wanted more. I loved it but hard to know how good it was when I didn't have anything to compare.

Jun 05, 2013
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tjmodica from Texas

4.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I never thought that I would review this beer Thanks Rick,

The 5 different breweries nailed the color on this one, the smell is full on sour but amazing, the taste is just amazing amazing subtle sourness, so drinkable that it does not make since. The nose alludes to something so sour that small amounts is all you could drink but this is super quaffable. You should never end a sentence with a preposition folks, it's just amazing. Happy days.

May 05, 2013
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thanks to Duffy and Kyle for sharing this at the JLindros Birthday Whale Tasting. Reviewed from notes.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a hazy golden hue with no real head to speak of, just a like halo and thin clouds.

S - Nose explodes with super funky and tart fruits. Light peach, lots of granny smith apples, light malts along with a light must too.

T - Taste is equally as awesome. Super tart apples, very funky wild bready malts. Getting an almost earthy/mushroom flavour towards the end too. Musty, juicy, acidic oh my!

M - Mouthfeel is very nicely carbonated, lightly flemmy and acidic, a little lighter bodied. SUPER drinkable though.

O - Overall, this is a damn fine beer. Cant believe I got to try this one. Thanks fellas!

Apr 11, 2013
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AlexFields from Tennessee

4.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Opened at our TN whales tasting 3/16/2013. Thanks to CurtisMcArthur for sharing this.

Pours a translucent golden orange, touch of a head.

Smells of sweet fruit--peaches maybe--and lots of acidity and funk.

Taste is very funky and very sweet at the same time, complex bouquet of fruit--berries and peaches and apples, sweet but also very tart, a touch of cheese, this is acidic but not very dry. Absolutely delicious and very complex.

Best beer of the night in a lineup that also included Duck Duck, Blauw, SHBRL, Deviation, SNR 10, etc etc. Probably the best American sour I've had.


Mar 17, 2013
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.51/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Mar 04, 2013
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claspada from New Jersey

4.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Is this real life... HimerMan is the man.

Pours a light light golden orange color with some initial white foam that receded almost instantly.

Aromas ebgin with mellow funk, dry citrus rind and white grape skins. The you get some more stone fruit, granny smith apple skins and wet hay from the bretty yeast.

The tastes follow the aromas to a tee with the mellow earthy funk, vinous white grape skins and dry citrus flavors. There is some emerging acedic acid, oak and peach hints as it warms. None of the fruit induced flavors really pop which makes me think I would have liked this a year or so back but it is still quite amazing.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is pleasantly funky, dry and medium/high on the sour index.

Overall this is one of the best American Wild Ales I have had to date. It semi-resembles a Gueuze, which I enjoy but aren't my favorite style of sour/wild ales. Regardless this was phenomenal and I am gracious that I was able to sample it.

Feb 24, 2013
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jsm1289 from New York

4.94/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

big shout out to Joel66 for busting this one out, thanks Joel!

lets get down to business, no one wants to read my ramblings except for me, so i'll keep it short ( or will I?)

Even though I am a self-proclaimed beer snob, i rarely take too much away from how a beer looks, whether it has legs, if its hazy or not and so forth. It looks like a dank beer

smell- outstanding, outstanding , outstanding. Sours are by far my favorite style and my expectations were extremely high. It smelled super funky, lots of farm type smells, leather, barnyard stink, grapes, maybe a little baby diarrhea (you know the smell im talking about) hay and a hint of nasty cheese, awesome stuff

i will say that for both the nose and the taste my beer vocabulary is not yet perfect so it cant quite identify some of the notes but im doing my best

taste- Wow, the best sour I have had. it was all farm type flavors, grapes, leather and EXTREMELY SOUR , complex as all hell. nice oak flavor, the singe that is typical with sours that usually fade throughout the sip was very prevalent throughout the palate and izzy was just a huge explosion of flavor. Each sip was better than the previous, thats all I can say.

Best sour I have had, I may be a precocious neophyte ( shout out to walt clyde for that one) when it comes to sours, but i know this is one of the true gems in the sour game.

Thanks Joel!

Feb 20, 2013
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joel66 from New York

4.76/5  rDev +2.8%
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!

Feb 16, 2013
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jegross2 from Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the infamous Isabelle Proximus. This Lost Abbey release is a collaboration blend of barrel aged beers made by The Lost Abbey, Russian River Brewing Company, Avery Brewing Company, the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Allagash Brewing Company. Thank you Paul for sharing this marvelous treat.

Score: 97

2008 vintage bottle. Served in a Cantillon stemmed balloon glass and enjoyed on 11/16/13. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a nice orange-yellow color with just under a finger of head that settles to a foggy cap atop the brew. Good lacing, great retention. 4.75/5

Smell: Oak/wood, dank lemon, hint of mildew mustiness, and then comes the peach. The nose starts out a little funky and then the fruit comes out to make a nice, balanced medley. 4.75/5

Taste: Wet wood, peach, and a musty funk that is not overpowering. Lemon backbone. The fruit character is not fresh, but it is kind of "dank" and quite interesting. I remember a more robust/fresh peach flavor and less funk when I had this a year or so ago, but it is still drinking marvelously. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, spot on carbonation. Excellent tartness with a light sweetness and pleasant funk to help balance out the sourness. Not as dry or sour as Deviation. Really lovely mouthfeel. 5/5

Overall: It was a nice treat to get to revisit this beer as my appreciation for sours has grown and Izzy has further developed in the bottle. Memory is not the best point of relativity considering that tastes develop and details fade as time passes, but I recall liking this fresher. Nonetheless, this is still one of the finest examples of just how good an American-made wild ale can be, and it completely stacks up against some of the more renown and respected Belgian sours out there.

Cost: $30 for a 750 ml bottle (good luck finding it at that price these days).

Feb 08, 2013
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popery from California

4.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a dull, medium gold. Good luster. A touch hazy. Little to no head, just a few bubbles form on the pour. The aroma is complex and rich, and I love it. Funk and age. Lemons, apricot skin, some lacto. Some vinegar. Solid funk, more lambic-ish than the vast majority of American sours. Taste is fairly tart. A bit more age shows but it’s holding together quite well. Low carbonation. Some pucker. Medium body for a sour.

Jan 28, 2013
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DJButters from California

4.26/5  rDev -8%
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.

Dec 31, 2012
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trxxpaxxs from New York

4.7/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unimaginable thanks to metalgdog for bringing this to a tasting...

A: Pours a light lemony gold with a small amount of thin pure white head.

S: The nose is intensely sour, with citrus and barnyard funk. Smells great.

T: I get a lot of tartness right off the bat, with some apricot and apple skin notes coming through in the middle. My buds are puckered to their max as the funk starts to really take hold. This beer is delicious.

M: Light bodied beer. It's super tart, a bit drying, but it finishes with great flavor and funk.

O: I'm thoroughly impressed with this beer. It has all the hype in the world, and it truly delivers. I'm still in a bit of shock that I got a chance to try it.

Dec 07, 2012
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.25/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Oct 26, 2012
Isabelle Proximus from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 446 ratings