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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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

5,502 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,502
Reviews: 1,942
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 242
Gots: 806 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,502 | Reviews: 1,942 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AgentMunky
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a goblet.

A: This looks fantastic. A rich-dark red-brown beer with about two fingers of head and small bubble trails up the sides of the glass. Beautiful lacing.

S: Malty fruits (the label suggests cherries) dominate the nose, with a background spiciness and a tinge of alcohol. Very complex, very pleasant.

T: Hmm, a difficult beer to describe. It tastes of alcohol laced with fruit, or maybe fruits soaked in alcohol. The sweetness is met by some slight bitterness, on which I can't quite put my finger -- maybe tea or some herb? Mildly sour aftertaste, but in a good way, as with wine.

M: Perhaps the weakest point of this otherwise excellent brew, but not much bad to say. Much lighter than I anticipated, little carbonation. Unlike some quads, there is no stickage or film in the mouth, something I miss. It is, if anything, too clean a mouthfeel for my taste.

D: Exceptional. The complexity of the beer is engaging, keeping me smelling and sipping. The surprising lightness of taste allows many such sips to continue. I will definitely be picking up more Three Philosophers.

Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend is a fairly complex beer. It is like a fruity Belgian beer, maybe even similar to a lambic. There is definitely a fruity aroma with this beer. The taste isn't has sweet has I expected, can definitely tell there is 9.8% alcohol in this beer. A very decent beer, probably not my favorite though.

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

This has alwyas been one of my favorite belgium style quadrupel. Pours a dark reddish brown with a fine khaki head. Aromas of cherries, sweet malts and chocolate. The palate is sweet and malty with flavors of dark cherries, plums, and oatmel. I just have one more 2009 release that I hope to age for a few years, it will be itneresting how this develops in the bottle over time.

Photo of phiberoptik
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with my wife in wine glasses at Terry's Turf Club... the best burger in Ohio according to Food Network.

I followed a Dogfish Head 90min IPA with this so my tastebuds had been drenched in hops before hand.

This beer could be a dessert to me. You definitely taste the cherry notes but nothing overbearing of stand-offish at all. Creamy head that hangs around for a while. Sweet smell and heavy on flavor. I wish I could comment more but maybe I will edit this after my next experience with it.

Photo of taxguyjase
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - A really foamy, light almond head starts off the beer and sticks around the side of the glass for a good few minutes. The beer itself is a dark amber color, opaque in the lower 4.0/5.0

Smell - A sweet malt aroma is the key scent of this brew. True to the ingredients in it, you can get some tart cherry in the nose. 3.5/5.0

Taste - Definitely a Belgian beer with all of the spices that I would expected in a Dubbel/Trippel/Quadrepel beer, but the tart and mildly sweet cherry flavor (which isn't overpowering - you're not drinking a cider here) adds a very different spin. It subdues the normal spiciness of the Belgian beer, then adds a level of tartness that finishes off each taste. While highly alcoholic, you can't taste it... 4.0/5.0

Feel - Smooth at the beginning and end, but really sharp flavor in the middle. Finishes clean and doesn't have really anything to speak of for an aftertaste. - 4.0/5.0

Drinkability - While an interesting beer, not quite my type of beer. - 3.0/5.0

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

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

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 2/10/10.

A: Poured into an over-sized wine glass. Showed a deep mahogany color with an off-white/brownish colored 2-finger head. There was a bit of a reddish tint in the body from the 2% Kriek. Light lacing on the glass disappeared after a bit.

S: Lots of raisin, fig, fig newton (tehe) with a hearty yeast character supporting the fruitiness. There was an unmistakable aroma of maraschino cherries in the background. I don't really care for maraschinos, but it was not a dominant smell, so it didn't offend me that much. A caramel sweetness was also evident, and as the beer warmed, the cherry smell faded and some alcohol notes appeared.

T: Big, rich malt taste. I have to say that the fake cherry taste was just a little too much for me. There was, however, a pretty good balance between the fruity (raisin, fig) sweetness and a spicy, clean finish from the yeast and hops. The good fruit flavors became the dominant taste as the beer warmed.

M: Nice, full, tingly feel. It really nailed all of my taste buds and warmed my palate.

D: I like a lot about this beer, but that darned maraschino cherry flavor was just too heavy in the flavor mix for me. I shared the 1 pint, 9.4 oz. with my girlfriend and I'm not sure I would want much more than that.

Photo of ncfranklin
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a small goblet.

A : Gorgeous. Love this blood red to burnt orange appearance.There is just something very alluring about this tone.

S : We start with a little rich malt smell, and slowly flow into a strong lambic of seemingly cherry. Fitting of the color, and enjoyable. Not overly powerful however, the only lacking quality.

T : Follows the smell almost to a tee. Malty start, the hint of the fruit lambic pokes in, but it quickly resides into a warming alcohol burn. Nothing, overly stands out again.. which is a negative in my book, but might be a plus to someone who wants a more complex flavor.

M : Medium, especially for a Quad. As it sticks around, the tingling says hi.

D : Despite the high ABV%, and the obvious presence of it in the taste, this one is relatively cheerful on the way down. You won't be gulping it, but its complexity intends it to be sipped in the first place.

Overall, this isn't my favorite beer because I prefer stronger prominent flavors. However, I can appreciate its subtly and use of lambic as a mix to create something unique, if not muddled. Something everyone should probably at least try.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.55/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 750ml bottle from the Ommegang gift pack.

Poured into the stemmed Ommegang gift set glass, it has a really dark, ruby red color. The head from the second glass on was almost non existent for some reason, with just the weakest of thin white lace.

The aroma has some nice dark fruit character to help incorporate the cherries, which is the most interesting part of the beer. Three Philosophers has the classic quad characters...dark fruits, spicy yeast character, and some dark malts. Unfortunately, they don't seem to come together as well as they could. There is also a little bit more alcohol on the nose than I would like, especially as it warms. I can't find a lot wrong with the aroma, but it's not great either.

The flavor is nice with some syrupy fruit character of grapes, plums, and of course, cherries. There is some light acidity that reminds me of green apples. Alcohol is a bit stronger on the palate than most Quads. There is a lingering, sticky sweetness on the finish. Again, not bad but all the characters don't fit together the way I would like. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy with a lot of carbonation. It's full and lively, but some foam in each sip would be nice.

Finishing this bottle became a bit of a chore towards the end. I would recommend splitting it. Also, I paired it with a roasted duck dinner and it worked, but wasn't a home run.

Photo of weazal
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

S: Medium amount of aroma. Sweet and sugary with a distinct mix of banana and maraschino cherry. Some faint black pepper/spice.

T: Immediately sharp carbonation that slowly rides off with a thick, vanilla-y mouthfeel that takes forever to leave your mouth. Banana seems to be the strongest flavor profile that kicks in halfway through and lingers through the finish. Grain/barley maltedness predominantly throughout as well.

Flavorful, well crafted, and potent!

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a one finger, cream colored head. Don't get much of a smell right off the bat. What I am smelling...is pretty much just alcohol. The taste is quite pleasant...vague taste of cherries coming through maybe? Regardless, its quite refreshing. Not too heavy at all, either. You don't even taste the alcohol, and it sneaks up on you. I really like this brew, and will have to pick it up again.

Photo of Flashsp2
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Three philosophers

Deep red/mahogany with a fluffy off-white head, good retention and some thin lacing.

Plums, sour cherries, malty sweetness, and yeast on the nose.

Fried/candied bananas, sour cherries, yeast, some faint chocolate, sweetness, and some yeast on the palette. Some warming from the alcohol as it rises to room temp.

Very lush, creamy-smooth. Very good beer, gets a bit sweet toward the end, but excellent all around.

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

Vintage 2008 poured into Duvel tulip. Served 50-55 F.
A: Dark mahogany brown. Quarter inch of off white frothy head.
S: Very bready, dark cherries, and cinnamon. Phenols are pushing moderate.
T: Breadiness is accompanied with brown sugar and molasses. Dark cherry is apparent, but not overwhelming. Phenols are bold, but enhance the beer's flavor. Spice sweeps in and finishes with a bitter linger.
M: Medium on tongue and kind of sweeping. Alcohol is warming.
D: Big beer. The 2% of the ale with cherries added is in good balance and enhance characteristics in its style.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of mrmanning
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with me by my friend Chris- A rusty auburn pour created a frothy beige cap with pretty lace. Nose of over ripe dark fruits, lots of caramel and Belgian candy sugar, floral notes, some perfume, molasses, and a hint of red cherry. Tastes of sweet candy, dark pit fruits, molasses, with added cherries and a good dose of balancing bittering hops. Finishes sweet, fruity, quite creamy and no trace of the high ABV. Nice brew. Thanks Chris

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

Ommegang Three Philosophers Quad 9.8% alcohol. Poured into Ommegang goblet. 750ml bottled on 11/07/09 as stated on top of beer rim.

A- Pours a dark amber fluid that has a thick haze of sediment floating inside it. Quarter inch head falls to a light froth leaving random patches of lace.

S- Rich malts upfront with massive alcohol presence. This very forward scent is followed by dried plums, sweet raisins and figs.

T-M- Taste is one of a kind with a heavy dose of strong ale flavors of vanilla, oak, alcohol and fruit. In more depth i'd say the flavors are a yeasty plum, thick carmel malt, sweet raisin and a hell of a dose of grain alcohol warm. Great beer in the aspect of being almost 10% and drinking like a Dubbel. Mouthfeel is a bit raw with light carbonation leading to excessive alcohol warming on the tongue but hey its a Quad! Light Kriek flavors soothe the palete for a smooth feel.

D- Well I put down a 750ml I guess i'll say it pretty damn drinkable for the content and style.
I will buy more but being offered year-round i'll chill on the looking aspect.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cloudy brown with a nice cap of beige head which retains well throughout and leaves trace lacings along the glass.

The smell is maple, cherry, and alcohol with a nice refreshing breeze of hop.

There is a definate alcohol burn to the beer, but the other flavors manage to dominate the palate. The sweet malts and cherry taste really hit the tongue nicely, though I generally don't care for cherries those used in this beer did not affect me adversely. That could be due to the subtleness of Ommegang's use of it; it enhances the sweet molases and maple flavors rather than overtaking.

This was a nice thick bodied quad I'm glad to have tried. The high alcohol content was very much present, and rather than mask it as some styles do they seem to have embraced it.

Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a glass...dark brown with a decent head. Sour malty cherry notes for an aroma.

As is true to the name, you can definitely tell cherries were added. Otherwise it was a plenty dry sour malt, though not as heavy as I expected. The aftertaste was a pleasant light bitterness.

Given the cherry additions, I guess I was expecting a lambic-esque or Flemish Red Ale type brew. It wasn't like either, but it was nice. I do recommend it, and as for my preference, I think its best enjoyed cold and finished befroe it gets warm.

Good stuff though! Ommegang, you dont disappoint!

Photo of goldbot
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep reddish brown with thick, active tan head that sticks around with plenty of lacing on the glass.

Plenty of malt aroma and a prominent fruit character from the kriek. Spicy Belgian yeast notes are noticeable as well.

Rather malty flavor without much sweetness to speak of. Lots of spice notes and complex, yeasty flavor. Fruit notes are more subdued, but some tartness and a bit of funk are certainly noticeable. Dry finish.

Velvety texture with nice, crisp carbonation. A deep, rich, and complex beer. A sipper, although any alcohol character is quite subdued.

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

This is an odd one. I don't have much experience with quads or lambics. I dislike the banana flavor often found in quads but I'm not finding it here. I am, however, finding lots of dark malts that can be described as tasting like prunes, grapes, dark cherries, and caramel and even a bit of chocolate in the background. The lambic provides a tartness on the finish, and some cherry before. An odd beer, indeed, but a good one.

Photo of BeanBone
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nearly clear reddish-orange body capped by a little less than a finger of cream-colored head that features good retention and lacing.

Aroma: A complex mix of rich burnt-sugar malt, a little funk, a splash of cherries, and a hint of booze--top marks.

Taste: Almost exactly what the aroma promised. Roasty burnt-sugar malt, raisins, sour cherries, a hint of nuttiness, and a nice spice component (mostly clove)--again, complex and satisfying (though it sounds substantially more simple on the page). The alcohol peeks through from time to time, but I wouldn't have guessed it weighs in at almost ten percent. Dark fruit, hints of booze, and rich malt in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation and a sticky finish. It leaves a little slick residue and some warmth on the tongue.

Drinkability: With damn near double-digit alcohol content and acres of complexity, this is a beer that does best when you slow down and pay attention.

Verdict: This is a beer I love to sit down with and enjoy over the course of an evening--it's also a versatile pairing for a meal, working well with a variety of entrees and desserts. Thoroughly interesting when fresh, I'm dying to find out how this will taste in a few years.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours shimmering red brown with rose highlights and a rocky pink-tan head that clings. Nose is pink bubblegum, port, rock candy and dates. Cherries hit first, then honey rum cake malts, and phenol pop and a touch of peppermint hops. Tight bitter finish, medium body, round feel, slight burn.

This is a puzzle - too thin and not malty enough to be a real quad. But there's not just balance here, also an Orval-type depth.

This has made me curious to try again; one sample is not enough to truly measure.

Photo of Scrapss
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the Hennepin before and loved it and I found this one and the Hennepin at the local 6-pack shop. Obtained in bomber size bottle (1 pint 9.4 fl. oz.).

G: English style pint glass and cognac snifter (tried both types)

A: dark cherry red/ruddy brown. Nice head when poured as directed on the big bottle.

S: hint-o-cherry, informing me of what's to come. After a few sips, it gets a bit overwhelming. Certainly the cherry is masking some strong essences otherwise, but I can't pick them out right now.

T: the addition of cherries breaks up the boozieness on the initial hit. Definitely a strong beer. Good tasting.

M: smooth and very coating, probably due to the booziness. Disappears slowly. Very satisfying to me.

D: It's a bit rough after a few sips. I needed a snack to break it up, so I had some sharp cheddar slices.

I liked it overall. It has a beautiful golden-brown wispy lacing and a rich flavor and hue that reminds me of late autumn for some reason.

Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured bottle into snifter.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber color that is semi-transparent (almost cloudy). Has a small head.

Smell: Has a bit of a mix of cherry and apple aroma. It's a bit tart for me.

Taste: Quite fruity with cherry dominating the flavor and is very tart. Cherries aren't quite my thing, so for me, this isn't great, but it's still good.

Mouthfeel: Feels almost like a soda with vigorous carbonation.

Drinkability: This isn't quite my thing. The cherry flavor and high alcohol content really knock this down a few notches for me. For people who like cherries and don't mind high ABV, you'll probably love it.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is better in the 750ml than in the 12oz.

G - Duvel tulip

A – Nice translucent ruby-mahogany, with a tad of sediment, when poured with utmost care. Big head that subsides into a patchy foam and a bit of lace.

S – Quite similar to most Quads, except better olfactory than most. Where the ester is usually a general tropical fruitiness, this associates itself definitively with the aroma of cherry. Sweet, spicy, with pungent alcohol and a hot cherry kick, and an aged aroma.

T – Great; just what they aimed for. It is a bit sweet, but it just tastes phenomenal. Dark bread and winter spice flavors are cut by a warm and succinct alcohol swath that gives way to complex impressions of tart cherry, apple, pear, and banana. Great and worthy homage to the Belgian Quad.

M – Velvety smooth. This is a beer that truly requires an expert pour, not unlike Duvel.

D – I feel like one too many of these is both easy to do, and worse than the usual ‘too many’.

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 5,502 ratings.