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
Reviews by shoyoroll:
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shoyoroll from California

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Oct 02, 2012
More User Reviews:
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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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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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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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bulletrain76 from California

4.47/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75cl bottle shared at The Bruery reserve society party. Hazy yellow with a white head. Funky as hell aroma with a great kumquat fruitiness and sourness. Sour but very smooth with lots of funk and complex sour fruit flavors. Almost cheesy in a lambic way. Just amazingly complex flavor and aroma that manages to really stand out from their other sours.

Jan 25, 2010
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SocalKicks from California

4.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Jan 27, 2014
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DrDogbeer from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared last nite with Warriorsoul and FitzIPAtrick. Good times. Poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy yellow with a thin white head. Smells grassy, a bit of citrus, and some mild brett funkyness. Taste is a smooth combination of brett, lite hop bitterness, some oak and a nice finish of citrus. Definitely not over-the-top funk from the brett. It just holds it all together very nicely and helps all the flavors blend. Nice smooth mouthfeel with a bit of crispness from the carbonation. Could drink this baby all night!

May 22, 2009
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Anonymous1 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Nov 16, 2013
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Ineedabeerhere from Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Javier for the bottle via the White Whale BIF. Shared with a few friends on 3.5.10. From notes. This is my 200th Review!

The bottle was somewhat of a low fill, not even breaking into the neck of the bottle. A little odd. Cork pops and out comes a hazy gold-tangerine colored brew with some bubbly foam fading to a ring. Revived easily after a couple swirls, but this is not hugely carbonated. My pour was surprisingly clear, but there was a good amount of sediment in the bottle and later pours weren't as fortunate.

Aromas open up impressively as this beer warms to cellar temp and beyond. Cat piss in your friend's basement, some wet leather and straw. A good amount of gueuze-like qualities here. Some over-ripe cantaloupe and honeydew. Though, the few times I have had this before I remembered a bit more of a tropical fruit component, especially in the nose... mango... pineapple? It seems to be missing now. Tart fruits, acidic and wonderful aroma with citrusy tartness prefacing the taste.

Taste has much of the same - earth, lemon rind, grapefruit pith. Granny smith apple skins and orange peel. Good tannic presence and wet oak, moderate acidity. Well balanced but this has a great rich funkiness. Dry musty finish. A really great texture to this brew and not super carbonated - it helps to let all of the flavors linger and further allow you to realize the complexity of this beer. Supremely drinkable, but hard not to be inclined to savor this, considering its rarity.

A really masterful concoction from some of the best brewers in the US with an excellent story behind the making of this beer. I hear there are still some barrels of this sitting at Lost Abbey - hopefully I get a chance to try the future blends that they find their way into. An incredible example as to what American Wilds can be.

Mar 12, 2010
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HoppyLuckyGoGo from California

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Jun 06, 2013
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crosamich from Florida

4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Jan 25, 2012
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Zbeetleman from California

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

May 15, 2013
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antilogic from California

3.63/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Had this at Lost Abbey barrel Aged Night II. Was really looking forward to it and was very disappointed. If you like really sour beers, you will probably like this. I do like sour, but this took sour to a whole new level. This was like a warhead. The funk and sourness made it difficult to enjoy. Taste was Fruit, Funk and Oak.

I knew it was a unique, "good" beer, but that did not make me want to drink much more of it. With the right food, this could be amazing I think. Oh well, I'm going to trade the bottle I have away and get something a little less extreme.

Nov 19, 2008
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vonnegut21 from New York

4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Jun 30, 2014
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claaark13 from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Aug 11, 2012
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fbc24 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -13.6%

Jan 29, 2013
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deltatauhobbit from Maine

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Oct 09, 2012
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EdwardFortyHands from Iowa

5/5  rDev +8%

Apr 24, 2013
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BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

4.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review 350, 1000 points, bottle supplied by a very special lady, funny how these things work out.

A- Isabelle looks great for a barrel aged sour/gueze/wild, whatever you want to call it. The liquid has a bright golden look with some yellow within. A nice sized white foamy head rised up before simmering down, leaving sparse lace. Some yeast clouding things towards the end.

S- I could smell this forever, it's that inviting, if your into the style. I get the expected brett with some lacto giving off some acidity to it. This is for sure funky. Lemon zest is up front with some sour apples and grape. Some leather and wood from the barrel. Moldy cheese and feet.

T- Proxy tastes great and nails whatever style the 5 brewers were going for, im going to say a form of gueze. The brett/lacto shines and gives off the funk with some tartness. Sour as well, but not a lou pepe amount of it. Behind that some barnyard creeps in with old cheese. The main taste I come up with is fresh lemon slices. Some green apple and leather rounding things up.

M- Sour, but not overbearing, enough to keep me ammused. Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation felt on the tounge that makes it crisp and oh so refreshing. The citrus qualities stay for a bit afterwards and im not complaining. Not the most balanced sour out there but that's expected with 5 different blends within.

D- I love Isabelle and would marry her. The drinkability on this is up there although I took my sweet old time getting to know her. Small sips are the only way to achieve this and any more would of hindered our relationship. I probably wont get another shot at this one but at least I can stare at the empty bottle and reminise on our past fling. Worthy of all the hype and accolades, Top notch!

Jul 16, 2009
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beernads from Florida

5/5  rDev +8%

Feb 05, 2013
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ChrisPr from Oregon

4.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a medium golden color, with little head which dissipates quickly. It has a classic 'gueuze' color and aroma, although the aroma is much less pronounced than typical beers of the style.

The taste is outstanding. The spritzy lactic twang of a authentic gueuze. Lime and grass, the flavor reminds me most of Girardin gueuze and its lemony, fresh-mown grass attack. The lactic acid is certainly in the forefront, the acetic is there, but very subdued. A slightly astringent finish, probably from the barrels, though this is pleasant. As it warms the sharpness of the acids really cut through though the beer's mouthfeel becomes more cask-like. Amazing!

The mouthfeel is exceptional: light, fluffy and refreshing; spot-on for the style. This beer is extremely drinkable, if you can drink a lot of soured ale. I can, but seeing as I only have a few bottles, I don't think I'll have this again for a few years. Well, well worth trying if you like gueuze or other American wild ales like RR's Beatification.

Note: I compare this beer to gueuze, although it is technically an American wild ale. Gueuze is an appellation that should only be used for spontaneously fermented blended ales from Payottenland, Belgium.

Nov 29, 2008
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HoshuaJobbs from California

5/5  rDev +8%

Jan 20, 2013
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evantwomey from North Carolina

4.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to mbrasi who hooked me up in a trade.

Appearance is a pale gold, almost no head at all. Not too surprising for a wild ale. Aroma is so damn complex: lemon, oak, apples. Really spectacular. Not super funky really. Taste is even better. At first there is a faint fruitiness which comes across as a sweetish taste, which is followed by a fairly tart finish. On the finish I got an explosion of ripe fruit flavors - peach, apricot. Some dry oak on the finish also. Extremely complex and the tartness is impressively restrained, especially for the style. Mouthfeel can't be criticized - no different than any gueuze you might find. Drinkability is also excellent (well, except for the rarity).

This is an amazing beer and much more tame and subtle than I was expecting. Right up there with the best of the Belgian lambics.

Aug 04, 2009
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Sarge3130 from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +2.6%

Aug 24, 2013
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CrellMoset from Virginia

4.22/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - and right after I traded for one. Thanks a lot! But seriously, this was Dan's 1000th review, and it took place in the cab of my car while we waited out of the cold for Devil's Backbone - Virginia's newest brewery - to open its doors for the first time.

Appearance: An incredibly hazy golden-yellow body with active, fast, fine-bubbled effervescence. The rising bubbles contribute to a very nice, fine-bubbled, snow white head, which in turn leaves small clumps of sticky, thin, white lacing. My pour got a surprise - clumps of orange-white yeast cultures. So THAT'S what Brett looks like!

Aroma: Tart apples - reminiscent of apple cider in places - and plenty of other sour notes are happening aplenty in this one, but more subtle overtones make themselves known as well; oak, sweet cherry, other sweet estery notes, delicate spices. A vinegary note comes through as it warms. Delicate and subtle, yet complex.

Taste: Sour without being too sour, really, and plenty of honey sweetness cuts through the tart, funky edge. Tons of fruit - pear, apricot, cherry, other stone fruits - add a nice dimension to everything.. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and soft, yet carbonated well. Very delicately bubbled, yet still big and fluffy. The mouthfeel is actually what impresses me most about this beer - the effervescence is so well done, the flavors are augmented in just the right way, and none of the tartness or acidic heat is amplified innecessarily. Marvelous.

Drinkability: Still not a huge fan of sours, but this is my favorite thus far. It's not over the top at all, is perfectly carbonated, and has a nice mix of delicate, complex flavors and aromas to keep things interesting. Perhaps this will prove to be a gateway beer for me - granted, my first was Beatification - but I'd recommend it to others regardless of previous exposure to the style. Enjoyable.

Nov 22, 2008
Isabelle Proximus from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 446 ratings