Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,982 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,982
Hads: 5,907
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.73%
Wants: 313
Gots: 1,195 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,982 | Hads: 5,907
Photo of jtierney89
1.5/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep hazy mahogany medicinal and phenolic on the nose with a touch of cherries. Underneath these scents is a touch of Belgian candies. Big foamy off white head. Very active.

Lacing is pretty superb.

More carbonation then expected. Huge full body. Some Belgian dark fruits dominate the middle of the pallet. Finishes with a big medicinal boozed presence. Some alcohol warmth on the swallow. A lot of dry malt on the tip of the tongue which gets cut off by the big herbal Belgian presence. Some cherry flavor is noticeable.

Alcohol presence is more pronounced as the beer warms as well as the spice.

Unfortunately im not finding anything too special about these beer. Very medicinal and the minor cherry addition doesn't do much for it. There's also a bit of cloying sweetness and spiciness after a while. tolerable, but its there. drinkable but id rather have something else. (886 characters)

Photo of Jesse13713
1.75/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

12oz single bottle poured into an ephemere glass.

Appearance - Two fingers of reddened head that fizzes with acidity and sourness. The beer is a deep plum color, though it retains more of a seedy brown hue than purple. A bit musky.

Smell - Smells oddly of Brett yeast to me, and reminds me more an American wild ale. Tart dark cherry and plum with a light grainy smell.

Taste - Oh my. I wasn't quite expecting such a strong assault of cherry and pomegranate. The fruit and alcohol destroy the palate, but not in a good way. Heavy carbonation combines poorly with the beers ingredients.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Quite unpleasant if you ask me. Fizzy cherries are soaked in alcohol and then smashed in the mouth. The alcohol is unpleasantly mis-balanced, and the aftertaste is among the worst I've encountered. I wouldn't call it sour, more funky and odd. (861 characters)

Photo of julian1117
2.35/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Heard great things about this beer, so I was SO disappointed. I was expecting a fruity holiday beer and was confronted by an antagonistic, obnoxiously alcoholic (read: yank-loving) stinkbomb. Smelled like rotten, fermented cherries and a musty basement in Jersey. Just awful. Tasted like pancake syrup that had been sitting at the bottom of my trashcan for a week. Thank Nature I did NOT save this for X-Mas Eve as I would have been even more disappointed. (456 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.4/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like murky sewage and V8. Reddish brown pour with no head, floating chunks, and overall not appealing. Smells like a heller bock. Sweet sour maltiness but with a hint of alcohol as well. As it warms it smells a bit more of rubbing alcohol. Not a terribly appealing smell either. Taste is really rather dry, muddy and bland actually with alcohol definitely noticeable but i've had stronger alcohol tastes in less alcoholic beers. Cherry isn't really noticeable, but maybe comes through it the tartness rather than big cherry flavor. Reminds me of a cross between beer and wine. Like a carbonated wine almost. This isn't awful, but I don't see it being anybody's dream beer as its story and creation indicates. The best thing about this to me was that it didn't have the awful belgian yeast taste and smell that I really abhor. I actually liked it better than I thought I would, and it grew on me a touch. (909 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
2.43/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2003 Edition. A quadrupel Belgium style ale blended with Lindemans Kriek.

Pours out to a dark brown with beautiful cherrywood accents, forming a modest poofy light tan head with good retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma of rum-soaked cherries, raisins and yeast...like the nasty spontaneously fermented fruit cake my mom makes with vodka, oddly colored maraschino cherries and raisins. Suggestion of fusel alcohol, caramel...fumes of isopropyl alcohol waft through the nose and burn my eyes. Mouthfeel is spicy and brisk at first but becomes exceptionally syrupy with a medium-dense body. Taste begins with tons of clove and spice, followed by syrupy amber malts and prunes. Intensely heavy with moist cavendish tobacco in the closing, and the aftertaste is earthen and mossy. Isopropyl alcohol peppers throughout, but predominates in the finish, giving it a somewhat harsh boozy twang and alcoholic astringency. Fusels are there, but not as abundant as in Ommegang. Rotting black cherries, anise, and dark candi sugar throughout. No discrete lambique sourness, and devoid of any Kriek character. Tastes like it was fermented at 78-80 degrees fahrenheit (which is not a good thing in my book). Despite my bountiful adjectives, this beer tastes like crud.

This one can be passably sipped. It's one of Ommegangs better brews, which isn't saying anything at all. I think I taste Hemlock. To quote Aristotle..."This beer tastes like Hitler." Ommegang...philosophize my sink, or toilet. (1,511 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.49/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Chilled 750mL bottle into a glass. 2008 vintage.

A: Pours a slightly murky amber / maroon body in my 1L Hofbrau mug. The first pour is literally more than half foam, with a fluffy 5-finger-thick cap enveloping most of the mug. It retains for over a minute, crackling and snapping all the while, leaving a few wispy trails of lacing in its wake.

S: Cherry up front, but in that artificial manner of Wild Cherry Pepsi; spices, toast, figs, and herbs.

T: Yup, definitely Wild Cherry Pepsi. Not a solid example of cherry flavor, but it's there, nonetheless. Caramel, brown sugar, rummy figs, light spices (cloves), chocolate. Cherries linger well into the aftertaste.

M: Medium-full body with a chewy feel to it. Slightly on the sticky side, with the seemingly artificial cherry giving it a syrupy aftertaste. Well-disguised ABV.

D: I kind of have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, it's a pretty solid mid-range quad. On the other hand, a few more bucks will get me a MUCH better beer. The heft of this body (and relatively affordable price) makes me want to use this for food pairing or cooking, but for plain ol' drinking, I think I'll stick with something else. (1,181 characters)

Photo of willytime
2.49/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brown with reddish hints. Nice foam initially to get a whiff of the aroma, but it fades quickly. Lace hangs around.

What a whiff! Whoa...cherry and alcohol. Almost medicinal, but not entirely bad. Almost a candy like smell. Overall a nose full.

As for the taste, I'm not a big "fruit" beer fan, but I thought I would give this one a shot by the good ratings.. The cherry flavor is not overwhelming, but it lingers on the back of your toungue. The alcohol is present throughout the taste and also hangs around a long time. Because of this, I feel the drinkability is quite low.

This is my first Ommegang and I'm going to have to try some others to really know why people rave about the brewery. While I trust they make good beers, Three Philosophers is not one I will pick up again. (804 characters)

Photo of TheDrewniak
2.5/5  rDev -39.2%

I personally did not care for it. I am not a fan of the brown ales. But it is smoother than most of the brown ales I have tried. Hints of caramel. Did pair with my gingerbread cookies. (184 characters)

Photo of beertastegood
2.52/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish gold with a head that quickly collapses.

Aroma: woody, tart, musty, earthy, peppery, fruity (cherries of course), but solvent. As it warms, a caramel-like sweetness comes out, along with a slight chocolate note.

Taste: intense phenolic notes, candied fruit (think fruitcake) pervades the palate with a slight mustiness. Alcohol comes on quite strong here, and not the good alcohol either - I'm talking fusels. Fermentation seems to have been run a mite too hot. The cherry essence is there, but it gets buried under an astringent, pepper-and-clove mess of flavors that leads into a finish that is surprisingly tolerable. Almost wine-like, and not in a good way.

Mouthfeel: medium body, high carbonation. Slick on the tongue (fusels again?)

Drinkability: Not so much. And by not so much I mean not really at all.

Disappointing - I have been looking forward to this beer and was happy to hear it had landed in Texas. It *could* be a good beer - IMO it just needs more attention to fermentation of the base (98%) beer and blending. (1,059 characters)

Photo of Jwaks
2.53/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving 12 oz bottle.

Pours a very hazy deep maroon boasting little carbonation feeding a lasting half finger thick head with fine red-tinted froth and very little if any lacing to speak of.

Vinous dark stone fruit (think cherries, plums, grapes) dominates the nose with caramel malt, interesting medicinal phenols and some sugary apple. lingering in the background. Sweet fruit seems a bit overdone on the nose.

Dark vinous fruit, cherries and candied apple take hold and maintain their prescense throughout revealing moderate tannins and lemon zest on the finish and aftertaste. After a bit of acid on the entry light dark malts come into play on the mid palate dissapearing back into a sea of ripe vinous fruit. Why does this taste so artificially sweet and fruity, it's way overdone for a quad with little caramel malt to balance so much sweet fruit.

Cloyingly sweet and drying on the aftertaste it's not a dream, I'll give it kudos for a very smooth, neat and thick mouthfeel. A bit of warming alcohol comes through on the off-dry finish. Drink it quickly because this only gets worse as it warms.

I can hardly stand to finish just one. For those who like sweet fruity beers, this is for you but it isn't my cup of tea nor it is a good quad. It is far to sweet, fruity and artificial; contrived is a good word to describe it. Give me a real quad like Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus 12 or any other quad out there, this can't even being to approach them. (1,470 characters)

Photo of trbergman
2.58/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Cloudy, tawny-garnet body with a dense, half-inch taupe head.

S - Aromatic with hints of brown sugar and cherries. Complex malt profile includes nuts and toast, with yeasty dried fruit esters.

T - Somewhat harsh on the palate with hot alcohol, and perhaps a bit phenolic. Tastes of dried apricots, raisins, and dried apples, with a touch of cloves.

M - On the one hand, smooth and creamy with full body and round mouthfeel - on the other, rather biting.

D - The look and smell are there, but in the mouth it's a boozy mess of a beer. Not recommended. (593 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
2.59/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearence: Pours a nice ruby red with a thin, beige head.

Smell: The smell is an incredibly spicy alcohol and fruity malt mix. The alcohol is a bit too overwhelming.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is an odd mix of sweet malts and fruits. Tastes almost like a barleywine, only less balanced and mellow. The intesnity and complexity is huge, and is overboard in my opinion. Too much going on to really enjoy the flavor. The mouthfeel is decently creamy and full.

Drinkability and Overall: This beer is too out of control for me. It's not horrible, but the alcohol is really overwhelming, way too much for a 9.8% beer. There are much smoother Quadrupels coming out of Belgium. Try those instead. (702 characters)

Photo of haazer
2.59/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Ok, my fourth Ommegang review, maybe I poured it too slow? There was relatively no head whatsoever. The puny amount left dissapeared quickly. Good amount of carbonation. A nice hazy, maroon color.

S- Cherries, raisins, grapes. Very fruity. Pick up the alcohol after the aromas. Hints of malts, no hops evident.

T- The alcohol is not masked well at all. Very evident upfront. Warming. A slight hint of grapes and berries, but the alcohol is almost over bearing.

M- Very pungent, almost feels like drinking a wine. Does have a slight bready mouthfeel.

D- Deffinitely a sipper. The alcohol does mellow out very slightly as the beer warms. My mistake was probly serving it cold. But compared to other quads this one does not mask the booze well at all.

Notes: I feel like I need to review this one again. My other Ommegang experiences were good, I waited to try this one last because I love Quads. I gotta say, it looks like a quad, it smells like a quad, but it did not taste like one, or have the same mouthfeel. Maybe I poured it wrong and it lost a lot of the elements because this one had no head whatsoever. I have another one that I might age for a few months and review again. I refuse to believe this score, but it will have to do for now. (1,296 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
2.59/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sorry to be a sore thumb, but I didn't think this beer was that tasty at all. I used a nice glass, like the one on the bottle and filled it half with beer, dark cherry and opaque in color. The other half was full of thick tan frothy head. The head did die down rather quickly. I have this around for about an hour now, and it really hasn't improved that much. The smell is of sweet cherry cough syrup or drops (remember Ludens?). What strikes me with the taste is that the cherry syrup is on one side of the room, and the ale is on the other. I am actually shocked that the flavors are not that well blended. It's almost as if someone took one beer and poured it into another. The flavors do seem to blend more the longer it warms, but the aftertaste is bitter, and not bitter in a pleasant hoppy way (medicine theme comes to mind again). I still have one bottle of this, anyone want it? (887 characters)

Photo of faernt
2.63/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2003/750ml. I've saved this for a while. I guess that late Winter is when I deliberate over my aged stock. It pours well. It has a decent head and looks like a good one. The smell is not that revealing to me. The taste is somewhat bitter. Bitter? I then get too sweet and bitter. The carbonation is right but the metallic bitterness is quite a distraction. I wouldn't buy this again. (383 characters)

Photo of estlinska
2.68/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a chalice glass. Pours a deep burgundy, brown with lots of large yeasty sediment held in suspension. Very dense. Looks great with a big tan head with medium lacing. Unfortunately, the appearance is the most impressive of this beer. The nose is cherry syrup and it just eats up everything else. The yeast in the background, the malt, all are eaten alive by the cherry on this nose. I just couldn’t get past it. The cherry eases up on the first taste. There is lots of fruit ester, phenols, and of course, cherry. It’s very fizzy, and very big on the palate and finishes quite dry. Maybe some time in the cellar would improve this beer by mellowing out that cherry, but as it was, it just wasn't for me. (731 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.71/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a reddish gold with good carbonation and a white head with reddish hues

S: Cherries, peppers, Earthy with some booze

T: Immediate cherries, too much here. Some dark fruits muted by cherries, Earthy notes with elements of pepper and wood

Mouthfeel: Thin, a little hot and to much cherry going on.

O: Cherry overkill (328 characters)

Photo of JackRWatkins
2.73/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.75

Bottle 750 ml in tulip glass

A: lighter than I had remembered/expected, a color very similar (if I recall correctly) to St. Bernardus prior 8, heavy, oily brown color but with a dash of subtle cherry red (derived from the blending of the kriek I'm assuming). A decent head presence, 2 fingers ivory and creamish color, retention was mild at best, decent lacing.

S: very underwhelming. If I had it to do over again, I would not have used the St. Bernardus glass, the mouth being as open as it is, any prominent aroma dissipated rather quickly, so that may or may not have been my fault. Still, it feels unfair to blame the glass for a shortcoming that a beer of this esteem and stature has. With the inclusion of the leifmans kriek, one would expect to get at least a modicum of cherry in the nose but I detected little to none. mainly it smelled sweet in a boozy fashion, not boozy in and of itself but simply in terms of the nature of the sweetness.

T:Honestly I found the two beers blended here to be, at least in this case, not complementary and generally incompatible, this is not to say that the idea of blending a quad with a kriek is inherently bad, simply to say that to me, it does not so much work here. the dryness, tartness, and acidity of the kriek take center stage here in a big way, disappointingly though, the fruit notes have been relegated to the very back of the profile at best. the cherry is overpowered by the quad, which is in turn overpowered by the tart dry acidity of the kriek.

M:Waaaaaaay too carbonated, as I believe someone else noted, this beer kinda destroys the palate, the heavy carbonation bolsters the briney flavor coming through from the dryness and acidity of the kriek, it buries the malt of the quad under all of that fizzy weight. this beer is very sharp and burns a tad

O:this is not a bad beer, but I believe it to be an overly ambitious one, I think perhaps most of all that's what makes it unsuccessful. The quad style is a monster of a beer style built on the legendary brewing traditions of the trappists. generally, though not as much so in the wake of the later phase of this our american craft beer revolution, very few brewers even attempt to brew quadrupels and even fewer do so with true success. the great ones generally come from the trappists of belgium. three philosophers then, may very well be an adequate or to be more descriptive not a bad beer but once again that's the largest part of the problem, Making a 'passable' quad, either in the sense that it's just not bad for beer or even in the sense that it's just not bad for a quad and even tastes like one, is a lot like duplicating a famous painting, sure you have the skill, but if it is not better than the original or at least equally good yet different, who gives a shit. the equally good yet different here was supposed to be the kriek, and if it truly worked in this beer, I'd be inclined to give it high praise indeed all of the praise it deserves. So while points are most assuredly deserved here for craft and a willingness to experiment, what we are left with is a briny, adequate beer with all of the worst characteristics of the beer it blends in, with none of the things that render those bad characteristics complementary. (3,258 characters)

Photo of wardough
2.74/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this bottle a week ago.

A: Pours a nice cherry / brown with a thin head that quickly dissipates. Looks great.

S: Smells of beautiful cherries. Slight smell of raisins and then alcohol.

T: My first taste was of metal, then cleaned up. First raisins, then cherries, then a dry finish with the alcohol at the end.

M: Carbonated too much for the styel

D: This is a sipping beer. I truly can't drink more than a few goblets.

Overall, an average quad. (457 characters)

Photo of czechsaaz
2.75/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aroma is borwn sugary with a bit of sour notes. The cherry aroma is very apparent but there's other yeasty fruit fementation esters too.

Nice garnett/ruby colored, very attractive looking. Big tan head fades quickly but leaves a lasting thin layer.

Kind of treacle flavored malt with pretty stron alcohol flavor. There's some cherry flavor but it seems artificial and doens't really blend well with the other characters. There's some darker malt complexity but there's also a saccrine like sweetness. Flavor is a bit medicinal from the saccrine and what I pick up as cherry extract and not the real deal.

Full bodied and pretty warming in the stomach from the alcohol level.

I guess I'm not the only voice of dissent on this one. I have a hard time getting through a glass of this since I find the blend not very interesting. I'd be more interested in the straight beer from Ommegang. (897 characters)

Photo of cujocon
2.78/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

9.7% ABV
750ML Brown Bottle $11 State Steet Northampton MA
Appearance: Tea color, considerable sedimentation in the bottle
Small head dissipated pretty quickly leaving bubbles on rim
Smell: bright and sweet maybe a little fresh wood and caramel - fantastic aroma
Flavor:very unique, foamy with a bit of alcohol bite. A little too much tannin for me.
Kind of a licorice flavor late in the swallow
Overall: 2.5/5 The bottle says that it is a blend of Belgian Ale with Kriek and Cherry Ale, but I don't get
any cherry at all. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't pick it up again. (578 characters)

Photo of fastsrt
2.8/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

poured 750 ml to chalice
A: pours ruby brown, impressive head
S: booze, lots of fruit.
T: artificial cherry taste, kind of like cherry cough syrup. tastes like the brewer used cherry extract, threw off the whole beer in my opinion.
M: nicely carbonated lifting the sweetness making way for a light feel.
D: will never buy again belgian Quads are among my top styles and this one was off for me. I did not like it at all, had half the bottle and dumped it, it would have been good, but it could not get over that Cherry flavor that i hated as a kid. (548 characters)

Photo of JBogan
2.82/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark brown with reddish tint. Small off white head which left minimal lacing.

The aroma was of malt, cherry and alcohol.

The taste followed the smell, yet wasn't as satisfying. The cherries gave it a cloying sweetness which I found too much to take after less than half the bottle was gone.

The mouthfeel was nothing special. Somewhat thin and lifeless.

Overall I was quite disappointed in this beer. it seemed to be yet another example of a non Belgian brewer trying to make a Belgian style beer and coming up well short. I might try this again at some point, but won't be in any hurry. (602 characters)

Photo of Mancer
2.83/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark hazy brown with a one finger high off-white head. The head dissipated quickly to a small ring of lace. The immediate smell of the beer was belgian yeast and some dark cherries. The initial taste of the beer was that of yeast, dark cherries, and some other slightly masked dark fruits. This taste is really hard to describe as I thought it initially tasted like bacteria infected beer. The brew had a full body with medium carbonation.

Overall, I was expecting way better. People seem to overly hype this beer for some reason, not just from reviews but from other people I know. This beer is the worst Ommegang offering that I have tried and I won't buy this one again. (693 characters)

Photo of praufs01
2.84/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - Cloudy ice tea looking brew with a creamy tan head.

Aroma - Black cherries.

Palate - Fizzy carbonation.

Flavor - Noticeable alcohol up front. Sour cherry flavor with a slight metallic aftertaste.

Final thoughts - Very tart. A little to much noticeable alcohol for me to enjoy. (295 characters)

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 1,982 ratings.