In March of 2006 five guys - Adam Avery, Vinie Cilurzo, Rob Todd, Tomme Arthur accompanied Sam Calagione and Lorenzo Dabove The Prince of Pojottenland through a tour of Belgium's fines Gueze 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.<p>
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...
10 years ago
Added to database
13 years ago
Not sure when this was last out. 2008? 2010? It was aged well at any rate. A bottle I never thought I'd see. Golden orange pour. Aroma is immediately stinky cheese and peaches, with a good dose of brett and other barnyard funk in there as well. The flavor is assertively sour, but not puckeringly so - still fruity and cheesy. Wonderful beer that shows what Mr Arthur can do when he utilizes the great invention that is carbonation, and concentrates on beer instead of running his mouth.
Wow. What a brew. I was unaware of the style when the beer was gifted to me, and as the bottle poured I was thinking tripel, but after a couple of seconds thesour vinegarish hints started reaching the nose. Lots of other funky notes in the aroma including citrus and peppery spices. Flavour started out quite tart, but finished spicy.
How do you follow up a Wooden Hell? With an Isabelle of course! Light, refreshing and plenty of sour. It attacked my palate and cleansed it with a mighty vigor. Tart citrus mixed with some yeasty barnyard funk and a long drawn out sour finish. Wonderfully dry. Fantastic wild, well aged and still flexing it's muscles.
Sampled on 12/31/08. This sour ale pours a slightly hazy yellow gold color from a cork finished 750ml bottle. Small sized white foamy head, with good retention and nice lacing. The aroma is tart, fruity and funky. Lots of stuff going on in the aroma; a nice mixture of must, horse blanket, oak, and fruitiness. A medium bodied sour ale. The malts are fruity and sweet, but the tartness and funkiness rule in this beer. Nicely balanced. Lively carbonation. It a big tart/sour/funky beer yet there are other subtle tastes here as well. There are earthy notes, citrusy notes, funky notes, oakey notes and then there is that sour/tart geuze blast, all these flavor mix and match and change every sip. Yet it has a very nice soft round mouthfeel. A great beer to usher out 2008 and celebrate 2009. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is crisp and dry. Aftertaste is tart and funky.
Bottle from bockyhorsey, yet another spoiler beer bud of mine!!!! The pour was golden straw colored, hazy, generous white head that was continuously regenerable with a swirl. The aroma was strong tart citrus and lemons, light funk. The flavor followed the aroma, spicey woody elements in the finish, much more of the citrus and tart elements showing than the funky barnyard stuff. With warmer temperatures the apples and grapes make a showing underneath, but this one is pretty punishing, hope the intestines hold together later tonite!!??? Body is thin with some definite acidic character (dominating). A nice shot at the style, but man, at the price, whamo, is it worth it? No need for sour horizontals, eh, a little rough on the stomach? Thanks to Bill for getting this one my way!
Bottle at O’brien’s. Pours with a cloudy, pale gold body topped by a very thin head with no lacing. It’s sour and tart with a light fruity note and lots of brett funk. Very nice. Light to medium bodied, dry and although lacking in head retention, well carbonated.
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.
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