1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,382 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,382
Reviews: 1,931
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 230
Gots: 733 | FT: 15
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,382 | Reviews: 1,931 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smallbatchbrewer
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 3P's pours with a light dissipating foamy head. At first glance, it appears mahogany, but a little backlighting shows its true ruby tones

S- Malty with a tartness that is similar to notes in a sweeter chardonnay

T- I taste so many flavors they are hard to pick out. Definitely a high gravity beer, the alcohol hits you upon first sip. I can pick out raisons, and cherry (not sour more like the cherries were mulled). I would call this beer sweet AND savory

M-Very light but not thin

D- I could not see myself drinking more than one at a time. Just the abv% alone would wipe me out but the flavor too I find is better in smaller doses

Notes- Amazing creaminess with warming qualities, the lacing is consistent throughout. I want to wait a few months until it's cold and I have a fire going to retry this one.

smallbatchbrewer, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of stephens101
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is dark brown with random hues of red. Poured slowly, as instructed on the bottle, and a two-finger dirty white head appeared quickly and skeddadled. A few fat fingers of lace jut upwards and a few dots speckle the perimeter of the glass. The complex aroma involves big dark fruits, sweet malts, grain, spice and bubblegum. Closer inspection reveals some diacetyls, faint hops and a note of distant caramel. Taste isn't quite as complex, but big and bold just the same with a graininess up front followed by ripened dark fruit (cherries and plums) some sour fruit, a welcomed hop hit, some sweet malts and spice. Goes slightly rough with a ubiquitous alcohol heat, which never bothers me. It's a bit airy with a good amount of carbonation, and the mouth-feel lies right between medium and heavy.

stephens101, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of TheViolator666
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into snifter.

A: Deep copper color, almost no head at all, probably due to the danty pour as indicated by the bottle. No lacing.

S: Deep, complex aroma. Hit by the alcohol first off, then the dark fruits - cherries and plums. Third, the malt, which in combination smells absolutely fantastic.

T: Very rich and vinous, cherries and alcohol are at the forefront. The cherries give off a slightly sour taste. The malt is subtle and gives a bit of sweetness. Alcohol definitely leaves a warming sensation in the aftertaste.

M/D: Alcohol comes in strong, fitting to the style. Carbonation is spot on. Medium to medium-full body.

TheViolator666, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of Mavajo
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm going to temper my personal preference during my review, and try to judge this beer simply for what it is: and that is, an excellent quad.

The color was a deep, dark reddish. Very nice head that retained. My major qualm with this beer was the overwhelming taste of cherries. Maybe it was a psychological thing, but all I could taste every time I took a sip was cherries. However, that's not a fault in the beer - it's just personal preference.

The ABV was disguised nicely and it went down very easily.

It won't be among my personal favorites, but this is an excellent beer nonetheless.

Mavajo, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of ShogoKawada
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml. My first Ommegang, always see them, today I decided to buy one. I went with the 9.8% ABV bottle.... what does that say about me? Oh well.

Pours a rusty copper with almost no head, although this was slow-poured as per bottle indications. Coloration is nice.

S- Smells like a red wine. Deep, tangy and tart. Hmm.

T- Follows the nose. Tart, sweet, a bit dry, tangy, mildly puckering. Not what I expected, although still pretty good.

As I get about 1/2 way in, the tart cherries come out to play and this beer dances across my tongue. Not for the novice, this beer has several different levels of flavors that really beg to be combed through and catalog. I'll just call them tasty.

M- Crisp, full, thick, healthy carbonation considering, and no alcohol detected besides a residual warming. Very intense, very good.

D- A 750 went down easy. At 9.8%, you know that's a good beer. I'd buy this again, and while this beer was not what I was expecting, it was very good and has me excited for future Ommegang purchases.

ShogoKawada, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium brown, little darker than a coca-cola but in the light its an amber. There is lots of carbonation with a light tan head 2 fingers that lasts awhile with good lacing. When you swirl head comes back quickly and stays for a while again.

The aroma is sweet hints of raisins, chocolate, can really smell the malts.

The taste is a bit of a letdown, its ok, but drinking next to a R10 its quite lacking. There are notes of chocolate, with a little bitter end.

Has a nice mouthfeel, lasts several seconds. Decent drinkabiliyt.

jrallen34, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.15/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ommegang is easily one of the premier American-Belgian style brewers. I have had a few of their brews in the past, and was not too impressed. They were okay, but nothing to write home about. Here is my review of their Quad.

A: Pours a murky brownish red. Head fizzes away rather quickly. No lacing present.

S/T: Smells like a typical dark Belgian Ale. Dark fruits, spice and alcohol. Taste is actually a little too harsh for my taste. Not a smooth beer at all. Alcohol is quite prominant in the taste. There is also quite a bit of malt. Caramel and toffee. Cherry and cherry pits along with an oaky and woody character. A touch of banana in there as well. Flavors do not seem very well blended it is just a bit too unremarkable overall.

M/D: Medium bodied with a very fizzy and bubbly mouthfeel. Quite a bit of alcohol burn in the finish. Definetly a sipper. Too harsh to gulp.

I will admit, I am not the biggest Quad fan. But compared to others I have had, this one is pretty middle-of-the-road. Flavor needs more refinement and the alcohol presence needs to be more masked. Probably not one I would drink again. I recommend it if you are a big Belgian Quad fan. If not, then you might want to pass.

OldSchoolGamer, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of kingcrowing
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz beer poured into a fancy glass.

Pours a dark brown with some reddish hues. Very little head. Smell is somewhat malty and a little sweet and slightly sour, you can notice the cherries.

Taste is very complex. Not very warming but a bit sharp from the alcohol. The taste is sour and a bit sweet from the cherries, but not too harsh, very good for someone trying to get into sours. There are also some oaky and woody notes to it, reminds me of Bourbon.Nice amount of carbonation. For a Quad, this is really drinkable and quite smooth for such a complex beer.

kingcrowing, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of r0nyn
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle.

A hazy, mellow reddish liquid filled the glass as I poured it. It looks rather pretty, especially when held up to the light. There's a large-ish head that bubbles up as the glass is filled, then slowly dissipates into a paper-thin layer floating at the top. The smell is definitely alcoholic, with subtle nuances of berries wafting through as well.

Has a tangy, tart bite that masks the alcohol at first, but then the 9.8% asserts itself. It's not overpowering by any means, but definitely evident. The finish has some of that alcoholic taste, along with some of the berries from the smell. Mouthfeel is decent, has a medium body which, combined with the alcohol content, definitely makes it a sipper.

Overall, a good beer. Perhaps a bit too alcoholic for my tastes, but quite drinkable all the same.

r0nyn, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of Overlord
3.1/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decided to re-try a few of these Ommegang brews and put in some reviews.

Pours a hazy/cloudy brown with ruddy hues when held to light. Gigantic billowing off-white foam head.

Smells like fruit laden yeasty bread, surprising amount of cherry, and some spice.

Flavor adds add in Belgian candi, a strange astringent ... yeasty spiciness. A bit watery and thin, but some bubbling carbonation. I don't know. It's basically a sweet Belgian dark ale with a bit of puckery cherry to it. Just too astringent, yet cloyingly spicy sweet at same time.

As you work through the bottle (Even a 12 oz.er), it gets wearisome.

Overlord, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of badesign
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours the dark reddish-brown of dried blood with garnet highlights. Aroma is very strong and consists of big brown sugar and molasses notes, cherries, of course, and sticky dark fruits, namely raisin and fig.

In tasting this beer I started with it far too cold; don't make the same mistake! Don't bother taking a sip till it warms to maybe 55-60 degrees or more; it doesn't taste very good, and frankly doesn't taste like much of anything. When the temperature comes around, the flavor is of hard candy with lightly medicinal cherry notes, lemon and white bread. There is some alcohol, especially in the strong, lingering aftertaste, but not much associated warming sensation.

The carbonation is tight and effervescent, very pleasing. Drinkability is great insfar as you'll enjoy the beer so much that you'll wish you had more, but the alcohol will catch up eventually.

A truly great beer that represents a compromise between tradition and innovation and pulls it off with aplomb. I only got one to try but would buy it again in a heartbeat.

badesign, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of mjaskula
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a large wine glass. Pours a dark amber brown with a thin tan head. I don't think I poured it as vigorously as i should have, the head was thin and there was no lacing. Otherwise looks great.

The aroma from this beer is excellent, sweet dark fruits, cherries, spices and alcohol. The flavor doesn't disappoint either, more sweetness, full of raisin and cherries, a tiny bit of hop bitterness and some alcohol warmth. Carbonation is perfect and mouth feel is clean and dry.

This is easily one of my favorite beers.

mjaskula, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle pours a rich amber/copper color with less than a half finger of head. Smell is rich caramel malt and huge spice notes, hints of raisin and chocolate, stinging alcohol, and some floral hop notes.

Taste up front is overripe dark fruit with a splash of spices washing it down. Reminds me quite a bit of a less-boozy version of Rochefort 10....which means I "sort of" like it. There is a lot of flavor here, but it is not a flavor that is particularly appealing to me.

Drinkability suffers because after a while the flavor begins to get boring and it becomes a task to finish the bottle. Not a bad quad by any stretch of the imagination, but not one that I will be seeking again.

alcstradamus, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of woosterbill
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged, 2009 vintage, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep, dark, translucent ruby body with lively, fine carbonation from the bottom of the tulip (thanks, Duvel, for the etched "D"); big, foamy, off-white head slowly dissipates into a cap, leaving lots of lacing. Great-looking brew.

S: Staying strong. Ripe cherries dominate the nose, backed up by sweet dark fruits (raisins, for the most part - maybe some prunes as well). Hugely malty and fruity, with just a faint whiff of yeast.

T: Starts out as a straightforward continuation of the smell: rich, sweet, fruity malts, with cherries predominant. Tastes great. Unfortunately, upon the finish the flavors devolve from rich and mellow to harsh and cloying - a strongly bitter, astringent cherry aftertaste keeps this from being a truly top-notch quad. Perhaps some age would help mellow this out, but for now this beer fails to follow through on the potential of its aroma and initial flavors.

M: A little thinner than I expected, but nice and smooth with abundant, fine carbonation.

D: I'm doing fine finishing off the 750 by myself, but the harsh aftertaste keeps me from wanting to quaff this intense brew.

Notes: I was really looking forward to trying this, and I'm very glad I did - yet another strong offering from Ommegang. I wish they would offer this beer without the 2% Kriek portion - the rich malts and alcohol of the quad base were blowing me away, but the bitter astringency of the lambic left me disappointed. Still, an extremely tasty beer, and at least a couple bucks cheaper than any Belgian quad - although, having had both recently, I'd gladly pay the extra 2.50 to get St. Bernardus Abt 12.


woosterbill, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thought this would be a good one for my 80th review.

A - brown hazy copper color small lingering head.

S - light smell of cherry

T - cherries with slight fig a bit acidic.

M - creamy smooth really nice

D - even with the higher ABV enjoyed this quite a bit and look forward to the next one.

Casey10, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of alkemy
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle
Poured deep, dark coppery brown with a slight red hint around the edges of the glass. The thick head was a bit fleeting, but laced my glass nicely. Spicy Belgian yeast smell with sour cherries in the background. Nice alcohol and cherry flavor at first, then you get the bready sweet malts. Damn, this stuff is good! Very drinkable despite the ABV. Luckily, I only had one 750, because if more was at my disposal it would have been downed as well.

alkemy, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip with a one finger head, no lacing to be seen. Copper color.

The smell is vinous with a berry esther. The malts are of the dark fruit variety. There's no problem picking up any scent. It's very robust and pronounced.

This is a very distinct tasting quad. The esthers come through as a mix of berries and black cherries. The finish is medicinal and has a numbing effect.

Mouthfeel is slightly tannic and bitter, leaving a very dry feeling on the palate. By then end of this 750ml I was in dire need of a glass of water, but that was expected.

Definitely a sipper, but no problem finishing a bottle solo. Very tastey with a complex variety of dark fruits.

Vonerichs, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of scottbrew4u
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 2008 that I picked up recently.

A: Poured a dark amber to light brown in color with ruby hues and good clarity. Head was a tall frothy tan mass with good retention and lacing.

S: Molasses, dried cherries, and black currants compliment the rich caramel and roasted malt aroma. Hops come through only slightly as a spicy pepper aroma. Fruity yeast and fusel alcohol are present too.

T: Sweet nuttiness, caramel and slightly burnt sugar fill the malt profile. Dried cherries are a wonderful compliment to the rich malts. Yeast ads a bit more fruity esters.

M: Smooth medium body with some alcohol warmth. Carbonation tight.

D: A sipper but a lovely flavorful beer to experience. I would definitely have this one again.

scottbrew4u, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of majesticsock
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer has a red & brown tint to it. Pours with a medium head that looks great and incredibly rich.

The smell on this is amazing. Smells like a true Belgian ale with a hint of cherry.

Has a sweet and a bit heavy taste. Difficult to taste the 9.8% alcohol, but I can definitely feel it.

Mouthfeel was a bit thicker than I expected and foams up quick when swooshing around, but has a nice soft texture to it.

Drinkability is exceptional. I could easily stick with this the whole night.

majesticsock, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of goblue3509
2.93/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber brownish color with a little one finger head that gave way to some lacing. The smell is of black cherries and sweet roasted malts. The taste is a strong malt backbone with black cherries overriding the malt at the tail end. There is also an alcohol taste from middle to end, there is a good deal of bitterness that starts at the beginning and is present throughout. The mouthfeel is a little slick and oily, with a low to moderate carbonation, not as high as i would have thought. This beer is below average on drinkablility, it is very strong and a little overpowering in the middle.

goblue3509, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of mizary
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage

A Dark reddish brown. fairly opaque.

S Strong. But sweet. a hint of cherries.

T Like the smell just a hint of sour. very sweet for 9.8% still you can feel the warmth from the high alc.

M substantial, perhaps a little oily I guess due to the high sugar content

D for a 9.8% this is very drinkable. But more than a couple bottles would put you on your ass.

This is my new favorite beer. It was $12.50 for a 4 pack in bellevue, ky @ the party source, aug 2009.

mizary, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of Natural510
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottling.
Pours a medium mahogany-brown with immense head which slowly dissipates; eventually a 2mm layer is left which remains to the end and helps coat the glass nicely.
Nose is malty with brown sugar/molasses and hints of dark fruit.
Malted sweetness in flavor as well, with a high yeast character. The added kriek is very subdued, merely another player in the overall flavor. A nice raisin/fig note kicks around along with the cherry fruitiness.
Body is full, creamy and smooth in the mouth.
Perhaps not the most traditional of the "quads", this is still a nice offering on its own. The elements meld well together and this makes for an excellent after-dinner drink.

Natural510, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of SaucyA
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


A - Sniftered. Pours a deep, apple-cider brown with a creamy 1 finger off-white head. Little lacing. Lots of floaties on a relatively careful pour.

S - Very interesting nose, and completely unique, which I love. A definite malty quad vibe, with layers of sour complexity. The cherries peek out in the nose more as it warms, but never really take an extreme forefront. Yeasty, sweet, sour, slight herbal notes... runs the gamut. Mouth is definitely watering. Surprisingly little booze.

T - Again, incredibly unique. Relatively sweet as opposed to sour, the cherries add a nice little twist to the quad base. While neither aspect detracts from the other, I think I prefer my quads without fruit. Plums, booze on the back, toasty malts, notes of black cherries. All in all a really solid beer, just not necessarily my favorite combination of tastes. I really wish the aftertaste lingered longer.

M - Creamy, even carbonation and on the lighter side of medium-bodied. I think if it were a little less attenuated, it'd stick to my palate more.

D - Quite drinkable despite my lack of enthusiasm for this brew. While it's not exactly my cup of tea (or bottle of brew), it's well-made and easy to drink... so I can't dock points.

Notes: I'm probably gonna revisit this yearly, and try to get an older bottle... just to see. I'm not the hugest fan, but it's still a nice beer all around.

SaucyA, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of melagnus
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Three wise men (1. two finger-thick sudsy off-white head that sparkles in the sunlight, 2. Ruby Brown hue [SRM 24] with murky (turbid mashing?) look, 3. carbonic activity medium-high). The beer settles down to a fine film after a good minute; amazing head retention! Lacing on the glass forms, as the lactic cherry glues itself to the side of the snifter.

S - Purely intoxicating! A yeasty (Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, Acetobacteria, or all three?!?) smell rises with mixes of acidic cherries into the nasal canals. An undertone of sweet booziness makes it way through, but at 9.8% ABV this is to be expected; it is a Quad after all!!

T - Unbelievable complexity! Sourness coming most likely from the Pediococcus yeast, slight earthiness in the finish from probably the Brettanomyces, which creates a drier finish. Slight acidity from the Lactobacillus, with that blend of sweet cherry. The body comes through as medium on the palate with a slight syrupiness to it. The alcohol definitely hits the head in a soothing way, though it just adds to the incredible nature of this beer. Lastly, a spiciness via the hops tickles the palate and leaves a slight lasting impression, but only through licking the chops does one re-experience this! Overall, a nice clean, dry finish with little aftertaste.

D/C - Drinkability is a tossup. On one end the mind quickly alters to another realm with the high toxicity of this brew and yet on another end the palate is left with a feeling of not only desiring more, but being able to handle more. Polishing off a 750ml bottle of this brew would be possible, though after just 354ml of the stuff I question the logic in proceeding forth. Knowing how amazing their Cave-Aged Abbey Ale is, I feel as though I truly missed out on the cave-aged variant of this beer.

In closing, there's no need to question if it's worth the try, this beer is one of the best out there!


melagnus, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of mklinger
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Rich brown color with a hint of ruby. Tan/light brown 2+ finger head that left decent lacing on the glass.

S: Herbal, slightly medicinal. Nice fruit & sour elements.

T: Very complex! Almost all the taste elements represented here, though low on bitterness. Sweet, herbal, sour all balanced together. I kind of suspect this will be a better beer in 2 or 3 years -- lots of complex flavors but not all melded into a nice unified whole.

M: Thick & malty with good carbonation.

D: In spite of a lot of nice elements, I was done & had lost some interest halfway through the bottle.

mklinger, Aug 12, 2009
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
93 out of 100 based on 5,382 ratings.