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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,008 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,008
Hads: 6,020
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 20.15%
Wants: 340
Gots: 1,301 | FT: 21
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,008 | Hads: 6,020
Photo of santoslhalper
2.59/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

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Photo of haazer
2.59/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.59/5  rDev -37.1%
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?

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Photo of faernt
2.63/5  rDev -36.2%
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.

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Photo of estlinska
2.68/5  rDev -35%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.71/5  rDev -34.2%
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

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Photo of JackRWatkins
2.73/5  rDev -33.7%
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.

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Photo of wardough
2.74/5  rDev -33.5%
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.

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Photo of Broadway
2.74/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I wasn't impressed. Kind of had a Mr. Beer taste to that lingered on the taste buds. I'll stay with the Chimay Blue when I feel like drinking a Belgium Abbey.

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Photo of czechsaaz
2.75/5  rDev -33.3%
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.

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Photo of cujocon
2.78/5  rDev -32.5%
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.

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Photo of fastsrt
2.8/5  rDev -32%
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.

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Photo of JBogan
2.82/5  rDev -31.6%
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.

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Photo of Mancer
2.83/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

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Photo of praufs01
2.84/5  rDev -31.1%
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.

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Photo of tlazaroff
2.85/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Beautiful clear red/dark amber color topped by a thick 2 finger off-white head.

S: Unfortunetly, I don't get ANYTHING but a tad of caramel on the smell. I expected a LOT more from this beer. The only reason why I didn't give the smell a 1, was because I just don't smell anything. Its not offensive, it's just not there.

T: Improves on the taste quite a bit, but I think it's still on the weak side. I get figs and plums right up front, and some toffee in the mid palate. The finish is dominated by alcohol presence and residual flavors.

M: Full bodied and moderately carbonated. This beer is nothing special on the palate.

D: It's okay at best, due to the alcohol. I would never have more than one of these. I bet it's good with a cigar.

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Photo of pentathlete
2.86/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm hoping that I just have a bad bottle. This pours like a classic Belgian dark, small beige head that doesn't last long. Not much lacing if any. Smell is of a harsh liqueur with the fruit subdued. Alcohol predominates. Taste follows the pattern of the smell. This brew was harsh alcohol, very little fruit, some slight cherry notes like cough syrup. Rather than the best of a Belgian dark and cherry lambic, this tastes as if I'm getting the nearly 10% abv with some cherry flavoring. It is certainly sippable, but it didn't meet my expectations. I will try this again, given its obvious reputation. Wish me luck with the next bottle.

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Photo of thedoubler55
2.88/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Mahogany in color, that leaves about a finger of head, that leaves no lacing at all

S - Sweet, lots of dark fruit as well as strong hint of cherries.

T - First sip is like cough sipper, not to fond of this one, lots of maltiness as well as strong cherry flavor.

M -Light and creamy not as much carbonation as I thought.

D - Not really my type of beer.

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Photo of vitesse
2.88/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

poured from 750 mL brown bottle.
label says bottled in 2003, so this beer is around a year to a year-and-a-half old.

pours a nice reddish/brown color with a HUGE head. lots of carbonation in this one. smells of sugar, cherries and spicey booze.
the beer was way way harsh on the palate. very astringent and medicinal taste hits you right off the bat. you can taste a slight cherry taste (from the lindemans kriek blended in) as well as regular ommegang ale, which is nice, but the alcohol isn't hidden at all and the significant malt and yeast can't cover up the boozey flavors.
the label says it's ready for immediate consumption without aging, but i don't agree. this one definitely wasn't ready for drinking. i was disappointed, especially considering how much i love ommegang, hennepin and rare vos.

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Photo of numenor1
2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

I had this again 10/24/06. I was too kind last time.

Pours a cherrywood color with a decent enough head that dissapears to almost nothing, not what i'd expect of a quadrupel. Smells of cherry and alcohol. Taste is initially candy cherry, cough drop cherry without so much menthol. Medicinal. To be fair, this fades a bit and there are other flavors underneath, but this overwhelms them, sadly. Any subtleties are masked, and it's pretty much cherry alcohol riding through to the finish. Phenolic, fusels even? Mouthfeel is quite nice though, full, with nice carbonation. Not very drinkable at all. Slow sipping is tolerable, but why would I want to? Interesting idea, quadrupel+lambic but in the end not so good. I've had this brew a few times, didn't like it before and thought maybe i'd age it a bit to see if it improved, and it did, but only so far as to mute everything and make it less offensive. Ah well, can't like em all.

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Photo of crunkonthereg
2.91/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of the bottle into a Duvel type tulip. Foamy head gives way to thin slick of head. Smells like dark fruit and lots of alcohol. Slight fake cherry taste mixed other fruits. Maybe raisons. What stands out to me is the heat of the alcohol and the bitter finish. Taste smooths a bit as it rests/breathes. I didnt find this beer very enjoyable. I do not plan on purchasing it again.

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Photo of jdubjacket
2.93/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Stella Artois chalice.

Color was a murky brown with hints of amber.

Smell was sweet and tart. Very powerful aroma that I could smell even when the bottle was a couple feet away.

Taste starts off sweet and alcoholic and quickly disappears into a watery taste. Not much to write home about here.

Overall drinkability was average. The high ABV is masked fairly well and the beer goes down easy. However, the lack of taste doesn't make the beer particularly enjoyable or unenjoyable.

This is one of the more disappointing quads I've had. You should definitely spend a couple more dollars to get the good stuff if you're in the market.

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Photo of harrymel
2.93/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3


A: pours a chocolate leather ale with two fingers of graham head which falls to a thick quilt in a couple minutes. The quilt dies down to a thin, broken sheet in a few more minutes. Where light can shine, clarity is excellent and reveals a nice caramel ale. Scantly spotty lacing.

S: Yeast is up front here and and maintains throughout as the baseline. There are some earthy hops and hints of candy sugar, but really seems one dimensional from this aspect. some hints of pear juice.

T: Yeast and pear juice. Some faint metallic flavors. The yeast is a little more subdued here but thrives once again in the finish. The alcohol here is well presented and only hints at it's presence. I keep going back to the pear flavor, it's interesting.

M: Thin with high carb. Slightly satiating finish.

O: I think this is just average for a quad, honestly there's nothing here.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.95/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2005 vintage consumed in Oct. of 2006.

A - Big, thick off-white foamy head. Very dark red body. Only very tiny carbonation is visible.
S - beautiful dark malt and deep cherry aroma.
T - Musty leather, sherry, mediera (has this been oxidized?), leather tar, dry with light bitterness.
M - Medium body with light carbonation.
D - Neither myself, nor any of the four people I shared this bottle with liked it at all.

Paired second glass with cherry pie without improvement.

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Photo of Spica66
2.95/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 bottle.

A: Medium amber color. One-finger head. Plenty of bubbles.

S: Smells like cherry wine.

T: Tastes like a Halls cherry throat lozenge. Could not finish it.

M: A little more carbonation than I have seen in a Quad before.

D: If you like sour cherry taste, there is nothing to stop you from drinking this. I wouldn't take another one for free...

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 2,008 ratings.