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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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5,598 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,598
Reviews: 1,966
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 255
Gots: 906 | FT: 18
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,598 | Reviews: 1,966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kellyst
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deepish red with a pillowy Belgianesque head. Slightly cloudy from the small amount of yeast that pours at the end of the bottle. Aroma is of dark fruits, caramel, sweet malts, and Belgian yeast esters. Flavor is complex and well balanced. Lots of dark, rum soaked fruits, plum, and figs. Caramel and toffee. Sweet graininess is present. Some sour cherries are noticeable, and the flavor of the cherries increases as the beer warms. I let this one warm up to room temperature and it was fantastic. Alcohol is amazingly well hidden and this is a very drinkable beer for the abv.

Photo of gamwich
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer has a small head which quickly dissipates. It is quite fizzy and looks like good iced-tea when held up to the light, both in color and clarity.

The aroma is vaguely reminiscent of cherries, but a little musty and otherwise fairly muted.

Flavor-wise, this beer is quite complex. It is sweet, smooth, and malty with a nice crisp tart finish of cherry flavor and alcoholic warmth. The aftertaste is of booze and raisins in the way the best white ports are. The mustiness comes through in the aftertaste as well. However, this fades quickly and leaves one wanting another sip.

Overall, quite an interesting and flavorful beer.

Photo of norcar
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mahoghany copper with off white 2 finger head that dropped quickly to a solid 1/2 finger. Some lacing.

S: Smells of cherries, raisins and leather with a hint of cocoa.

T: Cherries, maltiness with slight yeasty flavor. Some cocoa in there as well. Not too sweet and a bit of sour. Good fruit flavor but not overwhelming. Alcohol in there but blended nicely. Great flavor. A lot in there.

M: Lighter body than appearance. A lot of carbonation but somehow it does not attack my mouth.

D: Dangerously drinkable. Great fruity sour taste but not so far away from just a great beer. Very easy to drink and would recommend to pick up a bottle!

Photo of mavbrew
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice chestnut brown color with a two finger thick off-white head that sticks around for quite some time.

S: Smells slightly of cherries and a bit of caramel malt with some floral characteristics and a hint of yeast.

T: The taste upfront seems to have the sweetness of dark fruits and cherries, which is followed by some caramel malt flavors and a hint of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with above average carbonation, finish is smooth and dry.

D: This ale is very drinkable for the higher ABV, but I wouldn't have more than one. Something isn't working here for me, maybe it's the Ommegang glass with the gold ring around that came with the beers. Don't get me wrong, this is a good beer, but I think the glass tastes too much like metal to me, I'll have to try this again with a different glass.

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Three Philosophers | 750 ml. | 9.8% ABV | 2008 vintage

Brewer: Brewery Ommegang
Style: Quadrupel
Glass: Ommegang chalice

After a year of cellaring, I popped this bottle out. A line of sediment has settled at the bottom.

Coca cola brown with a lackluster mocha head and a lot of bubbles. Subpar lacing. Much of this is due to the aging I think.

Dark fruits--raisins, plums, and cherries--drenched in sweet alcohol. There's an ominous musty, earthy smell as well.

Mon dieu, this is delightful. I wasn't sure what aging would do to it, but there's an inexplicable brightness to the earthy flavors. The dark fruit tastes recede a bit, and while the alcohol is definitely prominent, its saccharine quality is less evident with age. Sweet finish. Very nice.

Amazingly prickly carbonation after all this time--a nice counterpoint to its velvety body.

Aging was a success!

Would I cellar it again?:
Yes. It is a better beer with 2-3 years on it.

Bottled: 2008
Served: November 26, 2010

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

Poured out of a 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle into my Duvel.

A - Nice deep cherry brown pour. Big creamy head with a solid amount of sticky lacing that stays throughout the duration.

S - Nice herby smell with definite cherry in it. I get some black licorice smell as well.

T - Nice warming beer. She is very creamy. Also a smooth ale indeed. You get a hint of cherry but less then the smell. A bit dry.

M - Medium to full bodied. Creamy and just damn tasty. Carbonation is just right.

D - Yes but don't think you are going to have a few. This is a great sipping beer. I wish it got colder in Florida. My ass would be outside getting a chill and chasing it away with the warmness this provides.

Photo of coronajm
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Chimay Chalice.

Shared this one with my mother at dinner. She loved it!

A- A moderate pour left about a finger of foamy head on top of a nice cherry amber body--left hazy by unfiltered yeast.

S- The nose was of cherries and caramel malts, with a bit of solvent.

T- Wonderful. Cherries and bready, toffee malts that sit smoothly on the tongue with a touch of alcohol warming. This one was pretty sweet.

M- Big, rich body that was very well carbonated. Very smooth, with some slickness from the alcohol.

D- Drank about two-thirds of the bottle and think that was about all I needed. Excellent sipping beer. I have just started getting in to this style and am really taking a liking to these belgians.

Photo of stilts
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - looked nice and heady coming from the bottle to the glass. Had to pour it twice to get it all.

S - had a cold, yet smelled great; almost a cherry undertone, which is odd, given I'm not a 'cherry' guy.

T - smooth. delicious. drink one; you'll know what i'm referencing.

M - everything meshed well together and just felt great from lips to tongue to throat. A+

D - not sure I'd want to drink more than three or four of these in succession, but they were delicious for the half hour it took me to finish mine.

OA - A great beer. Started a night with it and intend to start many others similarly, given the taste and texture. Overall, A-. A damn-near exceptional brew.

Photo of BBP
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a reddish chestnut with great carbonation which supports a thin head. Unfiltered with a good amount of sediment floating around. A thin head when compared to most Belgian beers, but it is still substantial enough to know that it's well crafted.

S- Very nice fruit aroma, even for a quad. Not the standard dark fruit aroma or the standard light fruit aroma, but a bit more sharp and crisp. Cherry, plum, tart, and carmel. The alcohol blends terrifically with the nose as it seems to be directly underneath the fruit, and that enhanced the fruit aroma for me. There are hints of candied fruits as well.

T- Starts with about a quarter cherry flavor, a quarter grape/plum, and the other quarters being caramel, and bready malts. It achieves some very nice balance, and is a bit of a change from the typical quad with the cherry in it. The flavors of the malt and fruit are actually enhanced by the alcohol. Shortly after the drink, there's a small amount of hop bitterness to be noticed.

M- Medium/full mouthfeel. Considerably creamy and the carbonation seemed to be perfectly suited for the drink. Has a slightly dry, moderately sticky finish.

D- I found this to be very easy drinking. The 10% was there, but it blended in with the drink tremendously. The biggest downside of this drink, was that the flavor didn't last as long as it could have. I wish it had more follow through. Aside from that it was a great quad, especially considering that it's an American take on Belgian beer. It is true to the style, and a quality brew. I wouldn't pass this one up.

Photo of nickfl
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a slightly hazy, amber brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves nice lace.

S - An aroma of tart cherries and spicy caramel malt.

T - Tart pie cherries up front with some sweet caramel. The caramel is joined in the middle by toasted grain and spicy yeast. Clove and coriander notes remain though the finish with some increasingly medicinal cherry.

M - medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - This certainly isn't a drain pour, but I am kind of disappointed. I hadn't had this beer in a couple of years and I remembered it being much better than this. The aroma is spot on, but the flavor is dissonant and unpleasant. The spicy yeast character seems inappropriate for a dark belgian and it clashes with the cherry. Maybe it its just that this beer is better in the bottle or maybe it has lost something in the last couple of years, but it seems like a shadow of what I remember it as.

Photo of ChugsMugs
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass at close to 50 degrees.

A- Pours deep amber brown, nontransparent, with a thick 1-2 finger offwhite/yellow creamy head. Minimal carbonation up the sides with fantastic full coat lacing.

S- Sweet, very mild toffee and earthiness in the final moments of inhalation. Slight sourness from cherries, strong presence of astringent/rubbing alcohol scent. As it warmed cherry smell became more prominent.

T- Presence of alcohol but blended and finished nicely by the sweet/sour cherry flavor. A good presence of malts, not roasty but the slightest hint of semi sweet chocolate. Licking the lips is full of candy sweetness.

M- especially smooth, not thick. Bleand of frothy head gives creaminess with loads of residue left in the mouth to stimulate the mind to pinpoint the complexity of the taste.

D- not a style of beer I usually drink but am trying to expose myself to. Enjoyed the smoothness and complexity, high alcohol was blended well in the taste and detectable by my fuzzy feeling face after consumption. It worked as a great slow sipping compliment to my slow paced reading.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into beer glass - No best by date visible -

Served at 50'F

Poured a deep dark amber with one finger head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin lace - decent amount of carbonation.

Smell was of toffee,caramel hints , cherries , toasted malts.

Taste was like the liquid center of a chocolate covered cherry - The cherry taste was just enough to give you hints of sweet hand picked cherries but not to overpowering,The malt really brought a nice toasted taste that blends the beer together nicely.

Drinkabilty - Not a beer that you would want to drink with a quickness - The more it warms the more the caramel toffee notes come out - very drinkable

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

Murky deep copper in color with a thin tan head that slowly fades.

Sweet dark fruits (cherries, dates), apples, and sweet malt. There is also a moderate toffee aroma.

A fantastic combination of light roasted toffee with tart dark cherries. plums and figs with an earthy woody finish.

Moderate mouthfeel with intense carbonation.

Wow, at 9.8% it feels a bit boozy, but all in all it is a fantastic beer. The combination of dark sweet malts and tart cherries is outstanding. I'm glad that I have another one of these in the basement.

Photo of GRG1313
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 dated 12 fl. oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown with a short off white head that quickly fades.

Nose is very assertive and fruity with huge cherry charmal character and big malt tones.

Mouthfeel is big, rich and creamy and elegantly carbonated with good balance.

Flavors are big, full and rich cherry carmel and big malt, light whiskey tones.

This is a big rich quad and amost sweet enough in caracter to have with dessert or even as a sipper.

Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: Copper and hazy with an off-white head with moderate retention and little lacing.

S: Great malty character (and perhaps some chocolate notes). Spicy phenolic clove. Dark fruits.

T: Great malty richness. Dark fruity esters like dried cherry and plum. Alcohol warmth is balancing. Finish is sweet. A perfect fall offering.

M: Some carbonation tingle on the tongue. Full bodied.

Notes: YES!!!

Photo of greenmonstah
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter.

A - Pours a cloudy dark brown with a finger of light tan head. Great lacing.

S - Nose is mostly dark cherry, very sweet and with licorice.

T - Extremely sweet and malty. Cherries follow the overwhelming sweetness and then you get a bit of alcohol flavor.

M - Heavy body. Thick and sweet on tongue. Very powerful. Quite dry.

D - Alcohol is present in the flavor and the sweetness can be overbearing. Not for everone. I'm had plenty of 10% beers that were far better at hiding the alcohol, but the alcohol taste is actually an improvement to this beer adn adds a bit to the flavor, making it a touch warming. I'm left a bit disappointed overall, I thought this might dethrone Hennepin as my favorite Ommegang brew, but it falls short.

Photo of ferrari29
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rocky copper color 2-finger foam formed after pour; good firm lacing; burgundy color body

S - Cherries, oh boy, do I smell cherries; you can smell high ABV content (especially when temperature of beer rises); smells like strawberry shortcake after a while

T - Contains hidden malt ale taste; mild tart fruit/cherry taste washes over tongue, disappears pretty quickly; dry with partially hop-bitter aftertaste;

M - Creamy consistency; tingles a bit on your tongue with a fantastic balance of cherries, other fruits and traditional ale ingredients

D - Easy drink; goes down smooth; great beer to sit down and enjoy a nice dinner or a round of brews with the amigos; I could definitely have a couple more

Photo of SteveLyman
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When looking at the color, there is a dark red tint.

Smelling this beer, I pick up the Belgian candy notes. It reminds me of molasses. I also get tones of dark cherries.

The taste is great! At first, this is a very sweet tasting beer.It then kicks in with a dark black cherry flavor and a slight alcohol taste at the finish.

A great after dinner beer, along with a Rocky Patel Vintage cigar.

Photo of glaketek
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark brown, a solid inch of head after being poured into the tulip.
Smell: robust note of cherries and chocolate
taste: From combining the cherries and wild yeast into this brew, it almost tastes like brettonmyces yeast was also incorporated. Flavors of dark chocolate, coffee, a bit coconutty to add the rich and boldness.
mouthfeel: heavy, mild carbonation

Photo of devinoconnor
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very impressed with the Three Philosophers. I've heard about this beer for sometime and have been meaning to find it but have lately been hooked on the fall brews.

I have a small reason to celebrate tonight so I sought out the 3 Philosophers.

It has a murky, dark brown color.

The smell is slightly hoppy, ale. The "2% cherry ale" seems more like 50.

Taste is very sweet, tangy at first, yet washes down smooth.

Drinkability is only average with a high ABV like this one. But it's worth every sip.

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

750ml bottle dated 2008, so its two years old since I'm drinking it November 8, 2010. Poured into a tulip glass. This is my first ever quadrupel so take this review with a grain of salt.

Look: reddish brown, and in the right light it looks purple like an eggplant. The head is off white, a little on the brown side, and is fairly short lived. It leaves a small amount of lacing. There is some sediment apparent that settles towards the bottom of the glass.

Smell: there's some mustiness to it with some hints of funky cherry flavors (probably from the cherry lambic added in), with other dark fruit like raisins and fig and alcohol. There are some spices as well as some yeast. There's a lot going on here.

Taste: there's some dark toffee flavors, plums, figs, and some dark chocolate as well as the sour cherries. There's raisins and spices. As it warms it takes on wine like qualities and becomes much more sour. The alcohol is present in the taste as well. Very complex flavor on this.

Feel: full bodied, not a whole lot of carbonation. There's some alcohol warmth, especially when the beer gets warm. Its very dry.

Drink: definitely a sipper. I am sure that is appropriate for the style so I won't hold that against this beer.

Overall, this is really good. I think I now need to revisit their Abbey Ale since I think I reviewed it before my palate was ready for Belgian beer. This was very good and I definitely recommend. Cheers!


750ml, 2010 vintage this time and since I am drinking it April 1, 2011, its fairly fresh. Poured into a Chimay chalice.

Look: just how I remember it. Purple body, with some rusty, reddish brown highlights. Maybe a bit cloudier than I remember it. Thin, slightly red head forms and retains quite well but doesn't leave behind much in the way of lacing. Good looking.

Smell: more than I remember it, the sour cherry aroma is standing out to me. A bit of funk and some dark fruit.

Taste: follows the nose. Dark fruit like figs, black cherry, some raisin and spices. Not as complex as I remember the two year old, 2008 version being. Still, quite good.

Feel/Drinkability: full bodied, a bit thicker than I remember it being, creamy carbonation, and the alcohol is hidden nicely. A bit easier drinking than I remember and I drank my glass fairly quickly.

Overall: quite good. A very solid quad but I prefer it with some age. I certainly recommend this if quads are your thing, as it is an interesting take on the "style." Cheers!

Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay, normally I just go step by step here, but I'm gonna switch it up and start with taste and mouthfeel. The first thing that popped into my head, after the first swig mind you, was WINEBEER. That is quite obviously a noobish statement, but guess what, chicken butt.

Okay. The most appealing aspect to this quad is the cherry-esque color, fantastic head/retention and lacing, and overall appearance. Really a great looking beer.

The smell is a strange and difficult entity. At first sniff it's slightly potpourri, medicinal....a bit like a red wine. Definitely alcoholic in smell as well. It's powerful, decadent and alluring.

Wow. I just can't stop thinking wine. Taste, like smell, has a bite of medicine. Strong fruity taste; cherry. Cherry cough syrup. Obviously far more complex.

Aftertaste lingers, and it actually makes you recall and pin-point the taste. Smooth, creamy and not as boozy as you would think; but it is a warming beer.

Drinkability surrounds the evening's activities. Not a session beer, and two of these beers is more than enough. Take my advice, if you have friends that don't like beer, but enjoy red wine....bring this to your next snooty box social.

Photo of fbone
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A:brown with noticeable yeast content,medium carbonation,thin head.

S:yeasty,slightly fruity aroma.

T:complex fruit,rasin,and/or date flavor balanced with bitter hops.Strong alc. content dominates.

M:medium body.

D:I like this beer.It's interesting,It has a good burn to it.It keeps you guessing.And it's very easy to drink!

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice dark amber color, with a small off white foam head. The head sticks around for awhile and there is ample lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit malt scents come through. Raisins and dates mostly. There is ample cherry scents as well and an underlying caramel/brown sugar richness.

T: There is ample malt flavor throughout the tasting. The cherry flavor is present first, but the dark fruit, rum and brown sugar come through in the middle and the backend. This beer, despite the malt profile, is not overly sweet.

M: Leaves a nice slick feel on the palate.

D: This is a nice beer for a dreary rainy or snowy day. Warms you up on the inside. For me, one to two in a sitting would suffice as this is a sipping beer.

Photo of Lukafer
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes

vintage 2010

Pours a dark red/amber with little head.  Smells are the darkest of fruits, some yeast, alcohol and some malt.  Tastes are plums, cherries, yeast and alcohol, pretty damn hot.  Mouthfeel is kinda thick and drinkability is slow, definitely take your time with this beer.

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 5,598 ratings.