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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)

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4,902 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,902
Reviews: 1,885
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 189
Gots: 515 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  9.80% 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: 4,902 | Reviews: 1,885 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jnezda


4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite Belgian styles beers. Perhaps because it is an American beer it is priced below the import Belgians and over the past year I have enjoyed a number of bottles of this brew. At home I drink this beer in my favorite snifter since that glass opens the smell nicely bringing out the fruit tones and earthiness of the beer. The color is a dark caramel with a white head that pours nicely from the bottle. The head does tend to fade quickly with no lacing which leads the drinker to think there will be no body but the mouth feel is big and full while not being over powering. This is a drinkable beer great to enjoy with a number of foods. I have paired this with grilled chicken and fish and vegetables with great success.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 11:17:55 | More by jnezda
Photo of disastermouse


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been meaning to try this out for a while..

A - Dark tea colored, brown-white head, moderate lacing that doesn't cling to the glass.

S - Boubon maple. Strong boubon smell! Honey with bubblegummy yeast.

T - What a balance! Bitter leaves, maple at the start, bourbon and honey in the middle, finished with a dry cidery taste but the boubon chases it down.

MF - thick, substantial, and moderately fizzy. Less carbonation than I'd have expected but what I'd have prefered - so a happy surprise.

D - Easy to drink for the type. It does sit heavy in the stomach. A great beer for sipping at a fire, having philosophical thoughts - much like wine in that regard.

I typically like a more traditional Belgian dark or abbey, bit this was a pretty cool switch-up! Will get again.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 03:02:58 | More by disastermouse
Photo of MyGoodness

New York

3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Perhaps I was a little disappointed in this beer because the waitress who served it to me talked it up a great deal. The thing that struck me as odd was the overwhelming scent of this beer. It reminded me very much of cheap cognac. Otherwise, not bad. It was reddish brown colour (maybe it was the dim lighting in the beerhall) with a thin head. The mouthfeel was pleasant. As for the taste, it also reminded me of a chocolatey, cognac-y concoction. It wasn't bad, but I had high hopes. Bit of a let down.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 19:05:55 | More by MyGoodness
Photo of Rhynes2


3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First few sips of this brew were a bit intense. Pours out a very thick dark copper color. Huge foamy head as well but no lacing at all. Carbonation was right on. Very smokey tasting with some light hints of cherry. Just a little too sweet for my taste. I would however buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 22:09:20 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had out of 25.4 oz. bottle.
A- Brown, dark color to it. Opaque. Bubbly head, thick with great lacing.
S- Slight maltyness to it.
T- Full-bodied. The cherry comes through too much for my liking. Kind of acidic in some ways.

I have no doubt this is a high quality beer, but for $10, this is a one-time buy.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 18:32:26 | More by Amalak
Photo of deaconoflove


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ap. Nice deep coloring with medium head, probably served too cold.
Sm. Pleasant, slightly spicy.
Ta. Gentle spice flavor, a little sweet, with a very burnt coffee finish on a 20-second delay. Really good.
Mf. Smooth,nice carbonation.
Dr. Very good. Easy sipping after a nice meal.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 16:13:27 | More by deaconoflove
Photo of MVotter

New York

4.97/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Ommegang Three Philosophers pour into a chalice a somewhat foggy dark-tea, with a thich, two-finger head.

The aroma is sweet, sweet malts ... some alcohol, (some grass possibly?)

The taste is an amazing combination of licorice, and roasted, sweet malts, cherry, (banana, I think) and a warming alcohol finish ... wow!

The mouthfeel is very effervescent ... just a terrific dryness to compliment those sweet malts alluded to above.

This quad is dangerously drinkable; hands down my fave quad. Other quads have been too heavy, too much of a synthetic taste, etc. This brew is none of that!

It IS what you are looking for in a quad. It is why we drink craft beer. It is the product of artisans of the brew ... absolutely, friggin' delicious!

Three WISE Philosophers, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 03:14:47 | More by MVotter
Photo of GordonQuid


4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750Ml corked bottle to a suitable goblet.

Poured a deep mahagony black opaque. Like the blood of an evil doer.... Creamy off white head firm with heavy lacing.

Smells like pure cherry cordial's smashed in caramel and cream...

Taste is a full bodied elixir of complex black patent, chocolate, cara malts and dark fruit. Cherry lambic in the finish very complex and gratifying

More over it is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding , but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.

Sorry this stuff takes you to a higher level... EXCELLENT!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 15:49:49 | More by GordonQuid
Photo of ricke


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

A: Dark reddish brown, almost more red than brown actually. Slightly hazy. A very big yellowish head fizzes away rather quickly but leaves stylish lacings.

S: An interesting smell that's kind of hard to pinpoint. Plenty of malts, dark bread yeast and prominent notes of berries. Quite a lot of chocolate as well, herbs and grass. After a while an unusual smell of roasted and tart aromas develops. This is really a complex smell with a wide range of different components. It's slightly edgy and perhaps it doesn't make it all the way, but it's still pleasant and interesting.

T: A nice character of sweet Belgian style dark ale in the fore, with the typical mix of powerful malts and vinous notes of cherries and other dark berries and spicy and herbal yeast. Some caramelized sugar, chocolate and grass. Faint notes of bubblegum and soft candy. In the middle, a gentle tartness develops (might this be the kriek lurking in the shadows?). The finish is slightly bitter with notes of coffee, iron and stale bread, perhaps even some hop notes. The alcohol is noticeable in a not entirely integrated way.

M: The body is not as big as I think I would have wanted it to be, and the lack of body results in the flavors coming out as a bit thin as well. The finish is slightly dry, whilst the mouthfeel is smooth.

D: An impressive tasty and complex beer which I enjoyed quite a bit. But it's slightly edgy and I don't think it really manages to succeed in the ambitious task it sets up for itself.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 18:14:02 | More by ricke
Photo of NewGeneric


3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this yesterday after work. Poured a burgundy color with light beige head that faded quick and left light lacing. Smelled of fruity yeast, malt, slightly sour and toasty. Tasted almost exactly the same. Very smooth. Finished the bottle, but not sure about wanting to drink any more of this.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 21:09:51 | More by NewGeneric
Photo of Andreji


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very surprised by this beer. somewhat of an 'extreme' version of the ommegang line, since others (rare vos, hennepin) seemed more conservative belgian types.

This one looked as though it headed in the same direction at first, reddish hued pour and a medium white to tan head. spicy scent, burnt sugar.

The taste was unexpected. at first more inclined to a red ale type...quite sweet, maybe l¡ke a goudeband, but then a strong alcohol feel brought me back to the quad style. very strong bodied and piercing alcohol-roasted malt blend. palatable throughout, but not an easy one to chug down after a few.

Worthwhile, so long as it's only one or two. again, no let-down from ommegang.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2009 04:46:21 | More by Andreji
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Updated notes- 2004 vintage 12 oz bottle courtesy of pieper, consumed 6/15/10:
* Appearance largely the same with the addition of some floaties.
* Aromas now include sherry, raisin and a bit of vanilla. Still smells pretty fresh, yet more complex. Heavy dark brown sugar sweetness.
* Flavor profile includes a bit of oxidation, but it's not overpowering or out of place. The tart cherry has turned into more of a cherry pie flavor, and there's a plentiful cola sweetness that dominates to a distracting level, although there's plenty of spice and fruit notes to sort out.
* Mouthfeel still includes a healthy level of fine-bubbled carbonation. The cherry pie morphs into a lingering figgy flavor at the finish. A bit of warming alcohol in the swallow.

Overall impression: Not as complex as I'd hoped for, as the sweetness proves to be a bit much to overcome. Still an easy recommendation, though, as it seems to be holding up well.

2007 vintage, 750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

The cork bursts from the bottle with a loud pop. Even without that hint, carbonation is obviously vigorous, as this beer fluffs up to a 2+ finger head, even with a gentle pour. Oddly enough, the head settles down pretty quickly and minimal lacing is left. The body is murky mahogany.

Smells plenty boozy with loads of sweet maltiness, dark fruit and cherries.

In the mouth, a pleasantly tart cherry bite quickly immediately asserts itself, but quickly shares the spotlight with plentiful sweet dark malt, toffee and molasses. A bit of cloves and some other vague spiciness. It's sweet, bready and yeasty, but the constant cherry tanginess keeps it (barely) from becoming too sticky sweet.

As noted before, this brew has very active carbonation, even after 2 years in the bottle. Mouthfeel's pretty good- doesn't linger as long as I figured it would.

Overall impression: A definite candidate for extended aging, as it seems to just now be hitting it's stride. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 20:50:11 | More by PDXHops
Photo of MADhombrewer


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

A- Deep reddish-brown color with a very big, off white head.

S- The overall aroma is not very big. I smell alcohol first then caramel and toffee flavors.

T- The alcohol is not as apparent in the smell as it is in the taste. This is very sweet. I can taste the caramel more than I could smell it. I also taste the toffee. When I lick my lips they are sweet and sticky.

M- I enjoyed the mouthfeel. Very good, very balanced.

D- After drinking a whole bottle by myself, and it being 9.8%, I am surprised I would like to have a little more.

I am just starting to find my way through the Belgian forest. I think I found a clearing to sit and enjoy the scenery. I will have to try Ommegangs other offerings.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 02:39:01 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of Reagan1984


4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. Bought at the brewery last August and cellared properly since then.

Pours with a robust tan head that is lively and has great substance. Deep amber color with mahogany tones that has excellent clarity. If you look deep into the beer you can see some active carbonation that is very tiny. The head has great retention, however leaves no lacing.

Aroma smells like black cherry soda to me. In a very good way. One of my favorite flavors growing up. A slight bit of alcohol in the nose and a touch of yeast.

Wow, very smooth flavor. Fairly deep and inviting. Initial fruit, some malty, then some earthy tones. After this a moment of tart cherry then a slightly bitter finish. The finish is not like a fresh hop flavor in IPA's, but deeper and it mingles nicely with the moment of tart. ABV is almost non-detectable in the flavor. As it warms more layers of malt come through and just add to the complexity.

The mouth feel is velvet like and smooth. The carbonation is very subdued.

Goes down very smoothly, especially for a 9.8% quad.

I enjoy this. And will look to age some more. Another nice beer from Ommegang.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 19:28:14 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of bbeane


4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a 16oz pint glass... Dark red/brown in color. Not a very large head... but does leave a nice lacing behind.

S- Smells very fruity on top of the sweet malt/caramel smell

T- Very sweet malt taste... caramel accompanies the fruity overtones. Very little detection of the high abv

M- Smooth with little carbonation... leaves a lingering sweet taste that clings mouth

D- Delicious. Definately would appreciate a few more of these... could definately get me in trouble


Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 03:01:47 | More by bbeane
Photo of markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - very deep red, clear, tan head, very frothy to start, then stabilizes into thick cream, and eventually settles. Does not leave much lacing, just a bit of froth from where I sip.

S - tantalizing aroma, definitely pick up the cherry, not a lot of other "dark" fruits, but still very fruity, clove spice

T - tart cherries, rich maltiness, whisps of smooth chocolate, delicious spicy aftertaste lingers with more chocolate notes, full of layers and depth

M - soft and smooth on the palette, med high carbonation, alcohol is very well hidden, though there is a gentle warmth, overall mouthful really aids in the drinkability

D - ridiculously drinkable, downright dangerous given the abv, smoothness and complexity

I tried their Abbey dubbel 2 years ago and loved it. Recently tried the Hennepin, and didn't care for the huge banana profile. I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, especially considering I hate the kriek they use in this beer for blending.

Well, this is definitely the best Ommegang I've tasted yet. The cherry character is just fantastic, though not really typical of a quad, but who's complaining? Then you've got some lovely spice notes and that hint of chocolate that is oh so appealing in dark belgians when done right (I have been personally searching for this in my homebrewed attempts). And then the mouthfeel really adds to the overall character of the beer, they just nailed it absolutely perfect. Wow.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 18:28:16 | More by markaberrant
Photo of ecoastman

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to JZED for bringing this great one back from Boston.

Drinkability - great stuff. I could easily have another and will pour the rest of the bottle into my chalice as soon as I hit "review" on this submission. Of course, the high alcohol limits the intake volume. I hope I can find this stuff in my region.

Appearance - A nice deep cherry red that looks great on the edges of the glass. The fine carbonation gives a thin head with decent retention.

Smell - Very mildly sweet and fruity. Almost difficult to detect. Surprising considering the high alcohol.

Taste - a very smooth tasting beer with a pleasant cherry tone that is not overpowering. There's a lot of flavour compared to what I expected from the mild aroma - some dark fruits to start in the malt. The sweetness isn't overdone and the finishing bitterness is low. Like a good Belgian Quad, the alcohol content is well hidden. They've done a great job on this style and it's well balanced. The flavour lingers nicely for a long time on the palate.

Mouthfeel - the medium body is quite smooth and creamy with the low, fine carbonation and is not too course in the finish for a high octane beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2009 01:49:05 | More by ecoastman
Photo of hardy008


4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with a huge tan foamy head with a sticky lace. The aroma has a strong smell of alcohol, caramel, and cherries. The taste matches the aroma. Is sweet and malty, and the alcohol comes to the front. Caramel is the dominant flavor. Full bodied with a lot of carbonation. Decent drinkability, but the alcohol taste is not well disguised, and is a reminder that this is not a session beer.

This is the 2nd beer I have reviewed from Brewery Ommegang, and I have been impressed so far. I can't wait to review another offering from them.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 03:39:48 | More by hardy008
Photo of WolfmanK

New York

4.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Three Philosophers is a blended brew. It is 98% a Belgian style abbey ale but kick ass strong. Considered a Quadruple in their measuring standards it boasts a huge 9.8% ABV. The other 2% is a Cherry Iambic. What you end up with is a very smooth highly drinkable, and decadent brew.

The Cherries do not overpower the beer at all, but enhance and blend with the natural fruit like flavor of the abbey ale. Although the alcohol content is very high you do not get a strong "booze" or alcohol after taste like Rob and I have found in some of these very high ABV beers. (Yes Brooklyn, I am looking at you...)

The complexity and flavors remind me a bit of port wine, and no doubt this would make a great after dinner beer or a good compliment to a dinner with strong flavors, but I would not reserve it just for that. I would not call it a light beer by any means, and I would probably not reach for it on a hot day, but... I'd also say this is drinkable year round.

All in all it may be the best craft brew I have ever had. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2009 16:57:18 | More by WolfmanK
Photo of sirdrinkwell


4.85/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the one that started it all for me...i went into the store looking for something else, but was intrigued enough to purchase this upon not finding what i initially went to get. i have recently taken a break from the Three Philosophers, but now that I have a new bottle in the house I will take this opportunity to post my thoughts on the subject...

Appearance: served from a corked and caged bottle, Three Philosophers pours an attractive dark autumn copper with a fair amount of light tine head, slowly fading to a slight ring and nice lacing.

Smell: The cherries are evident up front, along with a slight almost wine-like cabernet scent on the back end.

Taste: Rich and sweet, the cherries are evident on the tongue but they far from overpower the taste, which is balanced by a medium flavored and relatively subtle announcement of alcohol (given the 9.8% content, i would have figured a more pronounced alcohol taste)

Mouthfeel: this is a very pleasant, subtle brew; sweet and smooth on the palate.

Drinkability: This is a wonderful drink, perfect in its 25oz. serving size; this is a great sipper for a relaxing weekend afternoon or dinner/after-dinner compliment.

As previously mentioned, this is the drink that piqued my interest in the style in particular and the craft in general. This brew from Ommegand has my highest praise.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 20:08:48 | More by sirdrinkwell
Photo of u2carew


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Pours with a two finger head. Brown with red tones in color. Thin bubble lacing.
S) Port - esque in aroma. Some Caramel notes mixed with just a touch of alcohol.
T) Cherry. Citrus - orange and lemon. Cedar. Smoke. Very complex and pleasant.
M) Mellow fizziness on the front of the tongue. Fairly smooth. Just a bit of alcohol effervescence.
D) A very delicious Quad. Not as alcoholic as anticipated.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 14:47:12 | More by u2carew
Photo of CheckMate

New Hampshire

4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bottle bottled in 2008. Obtained at McKinnon's Meat market Salem, NH. Murky dark copper in color with about 2 inches of off white head that sadly didn't last long however left a little bit of lacing. Cherry smell at first sniff, a plum like undertone. cherries were the first i was able to taste then plums (or prune) flavors came in and made their place on the pallat with a little a bit of brown sugar. strong taste but goes down nicely with a light body. pretty good for a quad, not much of a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 02:29:34 | More by CheckMate
Photo of rapidsequence


4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another nice corked and caged 750 from Ommegang.

Appearance: Dark amber red with a thick head that lasts. Some nice lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast and sharp spicy smell that almost burns. Dark fruit and lots of cherry.

Taste: Thankfully much less cherry than I smell. I only really notice some cherry sourness on the back end. Good spicy dark fruit taste and lots of heavy breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Its nice and heavy, but with lots of tingly carbonation that keeps it from being too syrupy. You get a little creamy head with each sip which is nice.

Drinkablility: I've put off trying this for a long time because I don't think I like lambics. I'm not sure why they blend this, because I think it would be great without the cherry notes. That being said, its delicious as is. Its not cheap though-- cost me $8.50, and I'd rather have a $6 11.2 oz Abt 12. Its a nice change of pace though, and I'll have it again I'm sure. Maybe a good one to share with a wine drinker.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 01:52:13 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of mudshark698


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am drinking this from a 12oz bottle into my favorite chalice.

The color is a nice dark amber, a little cloudy, can't see through.

Has a nice malty and sour cherry nose.

Taste is a little sweet at first on my tongue, but then turns sour after it has been in my mouth for a few seconds. Nice tart, sour cherry flavor throughout. I get a nice warmth in my belly a few minutes after swallowing. As it warms the hops start to come through as well.

It is not the strongest quad that I have ever had, but the kreik lambic brings it home nicely.

I really enjoy this beer. It is a nice change from the Russian Imperial Stouts that I normally drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 00:09:52 | More by mudshark698
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A soft brown body pours out into a Chimay goblet; off-white, gently settling head--strong head that holds sway...fragrant, ester-laden bouquet strikes immediately--the lambic quality plays nicely in the crisp Hallertauer hops--malts are balanced well enough to hint at something amber...light, soft flitter on the lips and teeth; smooth enough to sneak through to the throat without much fanfare...definite acidic grape presence...hops keep the taste tart...the 9.8 % alcohol is present, yet overall accomplishes a mellow, malty finish; almost no aftertaste--this beer excels in its self-control... a wonderful Easter ends with this Quadrupel, and a great end at that--with the bold passion of a merlot, Three Philosophers displays body and taste sophisticated enough... the Ommegang guys miss little, and this beer could keep me philosophical with a rather clear buzz as the bottle drains...

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2009 02:58:57 | More by dacrza1
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 4,902 ratings.