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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) - Brewery Ommegang

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)

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5,467 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,467
Reviews: 1,940
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 239
Gots: 775 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,467 | Reviews: 1,940 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After hearing about this beer for so long, I decided to give it a try. Picked up a bottle and gave it a whirl....

Poured into my Chimay chalice glass.

A- Dark tan head. Mahogony brown liquid with a maroon tint- think dark chocolate.

S- Smelled like chocolate covered cherries, alcohol, dried fruits.

T- Good stuff. The cherries really come through on this- hints of vanilla- chocolate. Belgian yeast.

M- Mouthfeel was smooth. Had no problem putting this one down.

D- With the high ABV i drank this one slowly after dinner while watching a game. Wouldn't drink too many in a sitting.

Great complexity. Smooth as all hell. I really enjoyed this one and will pick some more up soon.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark mahogany-cola color with a creamy beige head which fell slightly to a thin pancake layering leaving a moderate lacing. Some sediment was noticed suspended in the medium carbonation.

S: The nose yielded fresh ripe fruit, cherries being the most prominent with some supporting aromas of plums, candi-sugar sweetness and dates. Some alcohol fusels were also present.

T: The beer starts out with nice burnt carmalized sugar notes with light smoky hints. Some dried cherries, dates, alcohol fusels (cinnamon) and a good yeasty character rounds things out. There was a nice bitterness and some chocolate notes detected before the finish which was dry and velvety.

M: thick and viscous, with a light-medium carbonation with a very smooth texture. Slight alcohol presence but otherwise well hidden for such a high content (9.8%).

D: Very nicely done bursting with dried fruit flavors and a easy drinking quad despite its abv and thick viscous nature.

Photo of akorsak
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2005 bottle served chilled to room temperature in a Troegenator seidel.

A: The ale has a thick luxurious head that does not lace. It is a hazy light brown color with abundant sediment.

S: Smell is malty-cherry mix, with the cherry being more of a sour (liefmans) than sweet (lindemans).

T: The taste is cherry and chewy malts. The malts are dominant but give way to a certain heat from hops. The malt finish is long and the formidble alcohol is well hidden. Maybe its just me, but the malts have a muscat grape and chocolate finish.

M: The depth of the quad and the cherry hints makes this a beer that thoroughly confuses the tastebuds.

D: Even at 9.8%, this is a strong drinkable ale.

Photo of scottg
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours an amber/brown color with a one finger tan, creamy head with good retention and spotty lacing. Aromas of sour cherry, vanilla, malt, and chocolate. Sweet malt, chocolate and sour cherry up front leads to citrusy hops and alcohol with a dry bitter coffee finish with some lingering bitterness. Medium body and carbonation, there is a creamy mouthfeel. While the alcohol can be tasted, the drinkability is still very nice.

Photo of counterpart9
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL corked bottle. The head which forms is strong and sticks around for a while, with great lacing on the side of the glass, while a cloudy dark brown billows underneath.

The smell is a complex maltiness with a little herbal hints.

The taste reveals a bit more of the herbal smell through a very smooth and wonderful mouthfeel. Carbonation is present, but not to strong, keeping this quad very drinkable.

Photo of Celt44
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to pick this one up directly from Brewery Ommegang today on my way home from the Hall of Fame. The wife gave me a 30 minute pass while she waited in the car with the kids - no one under 15 inside!

Appearance is a very dark copper. Clear. Good creamy head and lacing that lasts throughout.

Aroma - Malts and cherry up front and strong. Hints of Ginger spice it up.

Taste - I'm not a fan of Lambics at all but the 2% Cherry Lambic is a nice touch. Malts and spice up front with a nice fruity cherry finish. Excellent.

Mouthfeel - Slight carbonation , nice and smooth. Slight alcohol finish & burn.

Overall an excellent Quad - I've stayed away from this one due to the Lambic but I have to say I'm pleasantly suprised. I'll definitely get this one again! Many thanks to Phil at Ommegang's tasting bar....

Photo of metter98
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured dark reddish brown into a snifter glass with a generous creamy brownish head. The head died down and became lacy. The beer is very dark, and I had to hold it up to a light to confirm that there was a moderate level of carbonation.
S: Light, pleasant aroma of cherries with raisins, spices, and other dark fruits. The aroma increases as the beer warms up, after which you can start to smell some of the alcohol.
T: Cherries are very apparent in the taste along with hints of raisins and spices. There's a nice malty sweetness in the finish. The taste isn't very complex, but it's an interesting combination of cherries and malt unique for this particular style.
M; It feels smooth, creamy and well balanced. A medium-bodied beer.
D: The alcohol isn't very apparent in the taste but it definitely hits you later on.

Photo of StephenRich
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In Cooperstown NY lie two very amazing spectacles; the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Brewery Ommegang. Since 1997 Ommegang has been brewing award-winning Belgian-style ales which are truly unique. Over the weekend I revisited one of my favorite beers; the Ommegang Three Philosophers.

The Three Philosophers is 98% a Belgian-Style Quadrupel and 2% a Belgian Kreik (Cheery Ale), comes in a corked 750ml bottle at 9.8% abv, and to me it is truly a perfect pairing of flavors; Brewery Ommegang was able to create a beer which is magnificently delicious. It has a perfect balance of sweet and savory (a balance whose line is very thin) making it an amazing beer choice for so many occasions.

The Three Philosophers pours smooth and creamy raising a dense and richly tan to brown head almost one inch off the surface of the beer. With a close look you can see that the the bubbles are so tightly packed together that you could probably spoon the head alone. The beer is an opaque deep purple, showing a lot of mahogany and brown tones. There is an amber hue that glows in the beer every time light catches a glimpse of it, probably due to the small amount of Kriek in the beer.

The nose is perfect also! It opens you up with a rush of tart cherries and cinnamon spice right away, then underneath you get the rich plum and dried fruits thats that I was expecting from the Belgian Quad. There is a balance of roasted chocolate and malt also, with a slight finish of floral alcohol (it does come out as a very distinct yeast scent which is purely Belgian, paying homage to how well Ommegang has matched the authentic Belgian style) . It is close to 10%, and certainly so far is very obvious of that fact. Really, to me it is everything that a good Belgian Quadroupel of this sort should be: rich, deep, alluring, sexy and seductive with huge amounts of flavor and complexity showing themselves even before the first sip.

As you bring the beer close the nose gets richer, and I can almost taste it before it hits my lips! When you bring it in, all the cherry, ripe fruits, cinnamon, clove and spice rush over your tongue penetrating every inch of your mouth. I had to let this beer really sit and caress my entire palate so that I could absorb all of the flavors. The most powerful characteristic is the fruity malt and spice, no question. But its so complex and there is so much going on that you really need to focus to get everything out of it. Underneath, really coming out in the cheeks is dark chocolate and hazelnut, with also fades into the richness of plums, dates, banana, roast and more spice. There is a rum and molasses sweetness everywhere which is complimented by the tart cherries, and balanced by a very specific Belgian dryness coming out of the yeast. This is really they key; without the dryness, the beer would almost be too much. It would be too sweet, and to complicated. But because it is balanced perfectly between sweet and savory, you don't have to focus as I just was. You can sit back, relax, and just let the Three Philosophers serenade your palate with beautiful words of wisdom. Its is absolutely gorgeous.

The mouthfeel is the same; complex, filled with life, but also smooth and calming. It feels like it has a great presence, but at the same time doesn't force the issue. It has a understanding of how to be the man, without running around and shouting about it. Its like your best friend - you know that they are always there for you and will always show you a great time, but they would never have to tell you that. You just know it.

Overall, I love it! This is absolutely a beer I would recommend to everyone, and would be a fantastic beer to use to introduce to new comers who are interested in Belgian beers. Its much easier to drink than it may seem, and it is thoroughly enjoyable. I am willing to bet that it will cellar exceptionally well, however I would also bet that I don't have the patience to find out, unfortunately! If you are enjoying this with food, I would stick with deserts to best pull out the sweet cherries and chocolate. In such case, try it with a flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, Chocolate Cherry Trifle, or really anything with either chocolate or cherries in it!

Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 27 oz bottle into a goblet.

A: pours dark amber/brown, cloudy, red highlights. tan head about 1-2 fingers thick, forms craters and dissipates. Good lacing.

S: strong malt/caramel aroma from the beginning, with a bit of sweet cherry finding its way in.

T: strong malty flavor, caramel, with a slight amount of woody cherry in the background. somewhat raisiny as it finishes, with bitterness that comes from alcohol. yeasty character also detected, combines with a dark dried fruit flavor that is washed down by the dry alcohol ending.

M: light in body, a little sticky; carbonation is medium to light for the style. alcohol character also contributes lightness and a little dryness, although very smooth and no alcohol "bite" present.

D: very enjoyable and drinkable; limits sobriety so must be enjoyed within its boundaries, but nonetheless worthwhile.

Photo of JimTeal
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yumm, yumm. Malted banana nut bread in a bottle. This is a very acceptable and drinkable beer, far from excellent but very good. The first scents of both banana and with a nutty subaroma make this one intriguing. Upon further review as I enjoy this beer, it does hang in to a nice flavor, well worth giving a try. I have developed a big soft spot for quads anyway, so anytime I try one this accomplished and up front I just relax, enjoy and don't overanalyze. The Liefmans Kreik is right there and adds a bit of mystery to the overall finish, Enjoy this one with a friend, it's special, different and I'll comment later on it's aging properties.

Photo of supercolter
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh baby the grandaddy of the Ommegang offerings ont the brewery tour.
Appearance is dark brown with some head, but faded quickly.
Smell and taste are similar, some alcohol but not overpowering. Some sweet malt and spice.
Mouthfeel and drinkability are on par with the style. These are I think the toughest to rate for this style.

Photo of ghebel
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a smooth, sweet beer that is surprisingly easy to drink. It is very complex as expected in a quadrupel. The hint of cherries is nice. This surprised me as I am not usually too fond of fruit in beers. The alcohol is well hidden in the other flavors. Overall - A great sipping beer to enjoy with friends.

Photo of ne0m00re
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite stand-by beers; hence, I served myself one 12 oz bottle from my fridge!
12 oz bottle poured into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.

A: Red-brown with blonde hues. The medium fluffy creamy-tan head fades to a thick film and lace.
S: The cherry with caramel malts comes up front, with the earthy, floral/fruity yeast aroma still steadfast.
T: Tart cherries with a caramel, toasted-bread sweetness. The alcohol is very subdued for such a strong beer.
M: This beer comes off big and frothy at first, with a crisp tart finish.
D: I could drink this all night, but I have a weakness for Belgians...

Those with the no-fruit-in-the-beer ideology are missing out on this one; the cherries add a perfect tart backbone to a great abbey-style ale. Want to show a beer newb how complex, delicate, and vast the flavors can be in beer? Add this one to the list.

Photo of bushbeer75
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz brown bottle - Best by 1/2016, packaged on 1/19/11 printed on neck

Ommegang Three Philosophers Quad filled my snifter with a hazy dark amber color producing a 1/2 finger off-white head that dissipated quickly to a ring of foam. The aroma is of; cherries , dark fruits, roasted malts and some brown sugar. The taste is similar to the aroma with stronger dark fruits, plums, figs, and as the ale warms the cherries take on a more dominate role. A nice light tingly and a little sticky mouth feel with a pleasant [alcohol] warming finish.

Three Philosophers is an enjoyable easy drinking quad that really comes alive as it warms.

Photo of sirpsycho
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, 2005. Drank half the bottle the night before last, made the mistake of serving it too cold. First impression was not good, not pleasant at all. Drank the rest last night, served at about 60, much, much better. Cherry aroma. Flavor was a wonderful mix of cherry, chocolate and berrys. Very warming. Excellent !!!

Photo of gbontrag
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I tried this with my wife tonight. She just fell asleep in my son's bed while putting him away for the night. She said she loved it, and judging by the snores I think it loved her back.

The color of an old walnut table; not lustrous, but rich mahogany tones. A tan froth quickly dissipated to a milky way in the middle of a foam ringed glass; a faint sizzle of carbonation just swirling there like a reflection of the big bang in my chalice.

A fruit wine nose: fruit blossoms in the distance, dried fruit compote dancing on the vapors of alcohol.

Cherry chocolate truffle with brandy. Quite a lot of fizz, and oak, cabernet, roasted coconut, upside-down pineapple cake with scorched cherries... Mama and papa like this, and mama and papa could drink lots of this in front of the fire place.

Photo of JayS2629
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark mahogany with frothy head that recedes quickly and leaves small filmy sea foam rings of lace.

S- Deep honey tones with toasted malts. Dark cherries are dominant upfront with dark fruit tones coming int. Hay and and sweet caramels. Yeasty. Hints of cloves and dark fruits. Raisins and must.

T- Dark cherries up front followed with a musty, earthy tone. Rich honey and hints of vanilla. Tart cherry and dark fruits, plums. Roasted malt and hay. Mellow hints of clove and spice. Tones of leather.

M- Smooth and slick, slightly creamy, dry finish.

D- Definite sipper, but smooth and sweet. Slightly creamy, Take it slow and this is a treat.

Photo of bob3701
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Cloudy dark chestnut brown with a tan head with no real lacing. Great Belgian fruity spicy aroma. Tasted even better than the scent. This is full of flavor, cherries of course but chocolate, rasins, maybe coffee and other sour type fruits are rolling around in your mouth. You also do detect the alcohol in this. Was not sure what to expect but it was a truely excellent experiance.

Photo of cleeze
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite the unique brew. Toss up between this an Victory's V-Twelve.

Pours a nice mahogany hue with a frothy beige head that produced some bad ass lacing. Syrupy

I deffinatly picked up on the cherries right away. Not over powering though. Balanced well with the sweet malty goodness. Fruity overall

Taste was of malty goodness again with a kick of cherries. I deffinatly felt the kick it packs but the abv is very well masked. Very yummy

Photo of twelvsies
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't really delved into the realm of lambics beyond the gueze genre because I never really liked the idea of fruit in beers. Reminds me of a wine cooler or someting. Although I really like little fruity notes that I get in the finer dark ales and quads, etc... So call me a hypocrite. But I really really liked this beer and found it to be not too overly cherryish as I thought it would be. First of all, really nice red amber color with a big poofy tan head, leaving some intricate lacing. Smell and taste are both a world of complexity. The main event really is the dark cherry flavor but there's plenty of other fruity spicy notes in there. Nutmeg, dates, figs, the list goes on and on. Really smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Very warming at almost 10%. I had this beer immediately following an Allagash Four and I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would compared to Allagash, one of my favorite breweries. But this beer is definately unique and can hold it's own. I'll probably go back to this one and I encourage anyone who is skeptical about fruit to check it out because it's really not overdone. Cheers.

Photo of zoso493
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a reddish auburn color that has a very bubbly two-finger head that dies down fairly quickly, leaving a little lacing on the side of the glass as it goes down. Three Philosophers is a much redder quadruple than is average, but it makes a pretty beer all the same.

Smell: The cherries display themselves very prominently in the nose, so much so that smell almost resembles that of what might be a cherry lambic. The yeast strain is spot on, though, as you would expect from the dedicated brewers at Ommegang, and it released a lot of floral esters. There is also a touch of graininess in the smell as well.

Taste: Again, the cherries are the primary actor in the taste, but this time this added fruitiness gives the beer a Merlot-like quality. It also gives the beer a unique tartness to it that is unlike many other examples of the style. Apart from the cherries, there are some rum-soaked dark fruit which I am particularly enjoying, as well as a healthy but tolerable tinge of estery alcohol. The lightly toasted malts round out the taste, though I'm sure I've overlooked some specific flavors.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel in Three Philosophers is exceptional in my opinion. It is extremely highly carbonated yet manages to retain just the optimal amount of body. It remains crisp but still has just enough "stick" to it to remind you that yes, this a beer worth remembering. The cherry tartness probably adds a good bit of the crisping sensation, which is a great highlight of the beer.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable quadruple, despite weighing in at almost 10% ABV. It's so smooth and it hides the alcohol much better than most quadruples or Belgian strong dark ales that you'll find, though I will concede that I can tell it's there.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable example of the style, and I would expect nothing less from the guys at Brewery Ommegang. The cherries added a nice and very unique touch, but still allowed the beer to remain true to style, which is a huge prerequisite, in my opinion, for American brewers making Belgian-style ales. It's complex but still very drinkable. This is a must-try beer for anyone, and I would gladly drink it again.

Edit: I bumped the appearance score from 4 - 4.5 to represent what I thought was a fair score for the beer.

Photo of sturner26
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottle into a goblet.

A: Dark brown with red hues. Nearly opaque with a lot of haze. One finger light brown head that was frothy with lots of tight bubbles. Good head retention and a good amount of lacing as well. Very impressive.

S: Lots of dark fruit esters (prune, plum, raisin), brown sugar, and a nice suprising tart cherry.

T: A lot like the nose, but more intense and complex. Very fruity, mainly dark fruits and wonderfully tart cherry. The alcohol has a strong presence, especially upfront.

M: Very effervescent, medium body.

D: Strong alcohol presence but it is paired nicely with the fruity taste. This is my first quad and I will certainly be revisiting the style.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish brown in color with some ruby red highlights and light to moderate amounts of visibel carbonation when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall medium creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits (raisins and cherries) along with some spices. The smell intensifies as the beer warms and the presence of the alcohol can be observed at that point.

T: The flavor is similar to the smell but with a very strong sweet malt body. There is a heavy presence of dark fruits (raisin) as well as a strong amount of cherry flavors. Some light notes of spices can be detected as well. Unique flavor combination.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: This is a really enjoyable beer and was probably my first introduction to the style - I still really enjoy the addition of the cherries. A wonderful sipping beer but this one will sneak up on you.

Photo of Buggies
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a 4 pack of these off a friend.

Pours a deep dark brownish red. Nice thin fizzy head. Aromas of yeast... dark fruit and spice. Cherries in the background too. Almost reminiscent of Mad Elf, but in this one, the cherries are a little more subdued.

Tastes great. Tastes like a typical dubbel I think. But it has those cherries in the background that adds that layer that makes this good. The cherries give a nice subtle tart surprise. Alcohol is warming, but really is hidden well for 9.8%.

Overall, a nice beer. I could drink a lot of these and find myself in trouble!

Photo of Vixie
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very deep ruby color, with a solid 1" head that slowly dissipates. The beer is a bit on the cloudy side, not a clear ruby.

The smell is very malty, with a touch of fruit, and there is some spice there as well.

Taste is very much what I expect from this style, fruity and sweet, with a pronounced Belgian candy sugar flavor. There is raisin there, and a decent amount of malt. There is a bit of alcohol warming at the end as well.

Feel is nice and solid, nothing wimpy about this one. Maybe a touch thinner than others of this style, but still nice.

Considering the alcohol content and strength of the style, this is very drinkable. I could easily down more than one of these at a sitting, such a nice mix of flavors, makes me wish I had a lot more of this.

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
93 out of 100 based on 5,467 ratings.