Isabelle Proximus | The Lost Abbey

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Isabelle ProximusIsabelle Proximus
443 Ratings
Isabelle ProximusIsabelle Proximus

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:
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...

Added by John_M on 05-22-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 443 |  Reviews: 220
Reviews by mikereaser:
Photo of mikereaser
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle on 11/6/09. Thanks to Hophead101 for the opportunity to try a beer I probably would never have the chance to try otherwise.

A - pours a golden yellow/orange with very little foam that quickly dissipated and just left a few bubbles.

S - a bit of funk mixed well with lots of fruits, lemon, apples, apricots

T - tart flavor up front, lemon, tart apples, apricots, sourness sneaks in among all the other flavors, but not too overpowering, its just all blended nicely

M/D - good carbonation still, tart pucker finishes quickly and lets you fully enjoy the rest of the flavors. This is so easy to drink and such a treat to have. The only bad thing about this beer is i'll probably not be able to try it again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of orangesol
4.47/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.71/5  rDev +2.4%
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

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Photo of getkrunkhoe
5/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

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Photo of t2grogan
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of brownbeer
4.77/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
4.33/5  rDev -5.9%
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

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Photo of tuckevalastin
4.57/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of joel66
4.76/5  rDev +3.5%
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!

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Photo of tjthresh
3.9/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of williamjbauer
4.61/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of pwoods
4.7/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.67/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of DJButters
4.26/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.74/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of leschkie
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of prototypic
4.52/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of UTvolFAN16
4.25/5  rDev -7.6%

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Isabelle Proximus from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 443 ratings