Isabelle Proximus | The Lost Abbey

Isabelle ProximusIsabelle Proximus
442 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: 442 |  Reviews: 220
Photo of Mauerhan
2.91/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thank you patronwizard for breaking out this bottle of pig vomit. ok pig vomit might be a bit harsh...but it does smell a bit like puke. ok...onto reviewing.

as we poured this into our glasses i was kinda grossed out a bit. im not sure if its supposed to be this chocked full sediment but shit. did someone leave some oatmeal in this bottle. we were counting the chunks. i pray that we got a bad bottle.

color is hazy straw/oj/scrambled eggs. so if i took all of the above and put it in a blender...or my stomach and then poured it back out. a nice amount of whiteish head sits on top and then its gone. small amount of lacing. nothing to be impressed by but its still there. i pray we got a bad bottle

smell...::shivers:: i pray we got a bad bottle

taste is acidic. harsh. cloying. not my favorite beer. very sour. an instant pucker. i pray we got a bad bottle

mouth is dry and angry. I PRAY we got a bad bottle.

i know that its the style but overall this beer does not make me happy. in fact it just made me cry a bit.

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Photo of omegagogetass4
3/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of PatronWizard
3.13/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I finally scored a bottle of this elusive beast from my mystery beer guru. Thought I would be generous and shared it with OlieIPA and Mauerhan. They didn't care too much for it.

Pours a completely opaque orange juice. Very thick and formidable. Lots o'floaties. Like a dirty fish tank.

Smell is, to put it bluntly, vomit. After a big breakfast of scrambled eggs and orange juice kind of vomit. That's the initial impression. After a few minutes, it either got a little better or I got used to it, because it was no longer repulsive. Sour as FUCK! Sour beer smell. Sour oranges. Sour everytang.

Taste is sour. I hate it, but I like to hate it. Very unique. I like the experience much more than I like the beer. Seriously reminds me of a glass of orange juice forgotten in the fridge for several months then grabbed in the middle of the night and gulped. Surprise!

Thick stuff. Feel is pucka, pucka, pucker. Not my favorite sour by far.

Bottle of Isabelle Proximus: $30
Bottle of '08 Abyss to wash it down: $12
Watching Mike and Chris's faces as they chewed on this stinky fucking cheese of a beer: priceless

 1,111 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of fromthewood
3.5/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of ffejherb
3.55/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into tulip glass on 1/9/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing this hard-to-find Lost Abbey release!

A - Poured a hazy golden body with a modest off-white head that settled into a thin ring of retention and left spotty lacing around the glass.

S - The aroma of this wild ale reminds me of what kids used to huff in middle school shop class while trying to get a buzz on. Sour, tangy notes akin to fruit-flavored magic markers and band-aid.

T - Sour and tart with an extra helping of Brett to pucker things up a few notches. Reminds me of Sour Patch Kids or Sweet Tarts on steroids.

M - Medium body with a thick, syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Warm and alcoholic mouthfeel overall with a huge sour finish. Pucker up!

D - Not my cup of tea, but I can appreciate it for what it is. I'm still trying to wrap my head around these extremely sour styles. Perhaps I'll come around some day, like with coffee stouts. Would I buy this? Probably not, save for the rarity of it. But I'm certainly glad to have tried it.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.58/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to JB175 (thanks Jason!). I've been waiting to try this beer for some time now...anyway, it pours a cloudy orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweettart candies and a lot of funk (definite yogurty notes, sweaty socks, and horseblanket). Flavor is tart and super sour upfront with citrus, sour grapefruit, and bubblegum. A bit too sour/acidic for my liking. Definitely very similar in taste to a lambic-gueuze. I would have like a little more dryness and less acidity.

 486 characters

Photo of antilogic
3.63/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

 566 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.67/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm not sure which is crazier; that I'm the one to add this beer or that I'm even reviewing it. Had recently at the Brick during the Lupulin Reunilun. By all accounts this beer is quite limited.

The beer pours a hazy gold color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose.... good night what an aroma. A gueuze lover would be in heaven with the aromas in this beer. One gets brie and head cheese, coupled with honey. There's also some cherry I think, but it's completely overwhelmed by the sour funk in this beer. Ewww! On the palate the beer is every bit as unusual with flavors of lemonade and sweet ice tea, which on the finish is overwhelmed with an ocean of sour. The sour funk is just too much for me and ultimately drowns out the other flavors. The beer has a light mouthfeel and the abv. doesn't seem too high. Despite the lightness on the palate, it's also rather viscuous. Odd beer and definitely not my cup of tea. Still, if you like sours (lambics and gueuze), my guess is you will love this beer.

Nasty stuff.... :-)

 1,036 characters

Photo of dbONE
3.78/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this at Toronado in SD last weekend, for a price.
It was worth it to try at least once.
The bright golden goodness emerges from the bottle into a stemmed glass that holds in the super funky aroma. This is not a starter sour, beware. Strong sour rotten fruit is what wakes your senses and slaps them into a dizzing frenzy.
Similar flavors peek through but are dominated by the sourness. As it warms up in the glass the sourness softens and dried fruit makes its way to the pallet finishing a little dry and stinky.
I loved it, but I think I would have to pass if it were offered.

 586 characters

Photo of mentor
3.83/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin layer of lightly-oranged head ove a hazed dull straw liquid. Smells sour acetic and lactic. Some brettanomyces funk. Pineapple, dusty, leather, and cherries.

Tastes puckering tart, with mild acetic and lactic. Light bright flavor. Lemon juice, cherries, and peach. Dry aftertaste of straw. Light crisp mouthfeel and decent drinkability.

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Photo of madorb
3.85/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one since the toronado 21st anniversary party, i heard it's hit its peak, so in celebration of a... tuesday. I thought I'd break this one out.

After popping the top on the gorgeous bottle and setting it on the table, it quickly started to foam over the bottleneck until i poured a serving into my Lost Abbey glass.

In the glass it's a crisp straw color with just a little head that quickly disappates.

The smell is Funk. Pure, unadulterated, George Clintonian, Parliament Funkadelian Funk. Oh, and some apple and vinegar. But mostly Bootsy Collins-esque funk.

Remember how I mentioned that funk? Well here it comes again, on this time the booty rockin' beats have moved on from my nose and into my mouth. I know right, you're saying, "wow, that sounds astounding, I would love some Earth, Wind & Fire in MY mouth". Well, I hate to disappoint you, but I think this Curtis Mayfield-ian beverage might not be all it's cracked up to be.

Don't get me wrong, I love sour beers, this weekend I had some Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise 2006 and I adored it. The problem is that this beer is really hitting me with a lot of citrus on the back of my mouth. It tastes a bit like... orange juice? The overall balance just doesn't seem to be there, it really seems to just be hitting me in one spot on the tongue. It's definitely a very solid, tasty beer, but it isn't living up to the hype. It seems a little bit like the funky melody of this beer has just one note, mind you, it's a pumping, thumping, slap-bass note. But one note none-the-less.

 1,561 characters

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.

 442 characters

Photo of paytoplay
3.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's been since the release on tap that I've had this beer. Thought I'd check in. Getting slightly better but still not rocking like I hope / expect with more time in bottle. Some funk, oak and tannin from the oak are more subtle. And not boom bam sour anymore. Just missing something for me. There are a couple other sours that me and the friend I shared it with said were drinking better right now. Still have higher hopes down the road. Guess wait till the sept 2009 anniversary from the release date to retry.

This has been in the refridgerator since day 1, that might of hampered the yeast. Other bottles are kept in a warmer / relative, environment.

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Photo of femALEist
3.9/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Lost Abbey which is a $50 beer. They don't even let you take it to go because people sell it on ebay for $150! It's an American Wild Ale and 7%.
It poured a very lemon yellow with lots of tiny bubbles. It smelled of pounds of lemons, sour apples and a ton of oak. It tasted extremely tart- again lemons, sour apples, a hint of apricot- reminiscent of Beatification from Russian River. It had a soft mouthfeel, very delicate on the tongue and delicious. However, it seemed pretty uncomplicated- just pure pucker.

 523 characters

Photo of fbc24
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of nkeckhar
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Arbitrator
4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared at a Berkeley tasting in May. From notes.

A: A vigorous pop upon opening. Carbonation! My first bottle was flat, oddly enough. Anyway, this one has a nice finger of off-white head that caps the straw body. Decent retention.

S: Some horse blanket, hay, barnyard funk imparted by the brett. Has a tart citrus nose along with vinegar sourness. A bit of oak. The beer has really mellowed since i last had it. While it is still aromatic, it is definitely dropping off.

T: In 2009 this had a lot of brett funk to it, but the bottle I'm reviewing here has seen that drop off. The flavors coalesce into a citric tartness, manifesting as lemon rind, orange, and a little tangerine. Muted tannins. In 2009 this beer had a very tart finish with lingering dryness and sourness, but the one I'm reviewing here is mildly tart (still dry and sour). The sharpness is dropping off. I'm not sure the flavor is complex enough to justify use of the word 'mellowing' -- if anything I'd say it's getting muddled. Still good, but not improving.

M: Light-bodied. Carbonation is moderate.

D: This was my last bottle. Glad I got rid of it when I did. I don't see it improving at this point.

 1,210 characters

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -13%
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. 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.

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Photo of CityofBals
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of kscaldef
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -13%

Photo of JAXSON
4.02/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice, lush nose aroma bursting with peaches, apples, nectarines, passion fruit, grapes, and the obligatory brett. A decent amount of stone fruit sweetness coming through in the nose. There's an immediate burst of tartness and acidity in the flavor that isn't completely refined. There are nuances of fruit, and an undertone of mushroom throughout. Very good but probably better in small doses. I drank a whole 750ml bottle by myself, and the acidity just kind of weighed on me. Really good, probably overrated, still better than a lot of well-regarded contemporary lambics. Just lacking a refined character and smoothness to be really awesome.

I've had this a few times since it was released. It has gotten a bit harder with time, not really declined, but not improved either. It's a really nice American sour that has tendencies toward a gueuze. There is definitely complexity there, but I saw it as somewhat unfocused and quite overrated.

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Isabelle Proximus from The Lost Abbey
Beer rating: 4.6 out of 5 with 442 ratings
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