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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

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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 geryeb624
4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750 mL bottle into Dogfish Head signature glass. 2009 bottle.

A- Pours a dark ruby-tinted brown with several creamy inches of off-white head.

S- Roasted malt and a little alcohol, with dark fruits, grapes, cherries, contributing a wine like aroma.

T- Sweet roasted malt flavor, with cherries and dark fruits as well. A slight sour note from the lambic peeks through, as does some roasty bitterness towards the finish. Some warming from the alcohol comes in at the end as well.

M- Creamy and rich with a nice effervescent carbonation.

D- A beer with almost 10% ABV should not be this drinkable. This stuff is dangerous as it goes down easy. I could put away a bomber of this no problem.

Wow, this stuff is good. A very nice quad, with a nice hint of fruit from the kriek. A truly superb beer.

Photo of StephenRich
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In Cooperstown NY lie two very amazing spectacles; the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Brewery Ommegang. Since 1997 Ommegang has been brewing award-winning Belgian-style ales which are truly unique. Over the weekend I revisited one of my favorite beers; the Ommegang Three Philosophers.

The Three Philosophers is 98% a Belgian-Style Quadrupel and 2% a Belgian Kreik (Cheery Ale), comes in a corked 750ml bottle at 9.8% abv, and to me it is truly a perfect pairing of flavors; Brewery Ommegang was able to create a beer which is magnificently delicious. It has a perfect balance of sweet and savory (a balance whose line is very thin) making it an amazing beer choice for so many occasions.

The Three Philosophers pours smooth and creamy raising a dense and richly tan to brown head almost one inch off the surface of the beer. With a close look you can see that the the bubbles are so tightly packed together that you could probably spoon the head alone. The beer is an opaque deep purple, showing a lot of mahogany and brown tones. There is an amber hue that glows in the beer every time light catches a glimpse of it, probably due to the small amount of Kriek in the beer.

The nose is perfect also! It opens you up with a rush of tart cherries and cinnamon spice right away, then underneath you get the rich plum and dried fruits thats that I was expecting from the Belgian Quad. There is a balance of roasted chocolate and malt also, with a slight finish of floral alcohol (it does come out as a very distinct yeast scent which is purely Belgian, paying homage to how well Ommegang has matched the authentic Belgian style) . It is close to 10%, and certainly so far is very obvious of that fact. Really, to me it is everything that a good Belgian Quadroupel of this sort should be: rich, deep, alluring, sexy and seductive with huge amounts of flavor and complexity showing themselves even before the first sip.

As you bring the beer close the nose gets richer, and I can almost taste it before it hits my lips! When you bring it in, all the cherry, ripe fruits, cinnamon, clove and spice rush over your tongue penetrating every inch of your mouth. I had to let this beer really sit and caress my entire palate so that I could absorb all of the flavors. The most powerful characteristic is the fruity malt and spice, no question. But its so complex and there is so much going on that you really need to focus to get everything out of it. Underneath, really coming out in the cheeks is dark chocolate and hazelnut, with also fades into the richness of plums, dates, banana, roast and more spice. There is a rum and molasses sweetness everywhere which is complimented by the tart cherries, and balanced by a very specific Belgian dryness coming out of the yeast. This is really they key; without the dryness, the beer would almost be too much. It would be too sweet, and to complicated. But because it is balanced perfectly between sweet and savory, you don't have to focus as I just was. You can sit back, relax, and just let the Three Philosophers serenade your palate with beautiful words of wisdom. Its is absolutely gorgeous.

The mouthfeel is the same; complex, filled with life, but also smooth and calming. It feels like it has a great presence, but at the same time doesn't force the issue. It has a understanding of how to be the man, without running around and shouting about it. Its like your best friend - you know that they are always there for you and will always show you a great time, but they would never have to tell you that. You just know it.

Overall, I love it! This is absolutely a beer I would recommend to everyone, and would be a fantastic beer to use to introduce to new comers who are interested in Belgian beers. Its much easier to drink than it may seem, and it is thoroughly enjoyable. I am willing to bet that it will cellar exceptionally well, however I would also bet that I don't have the patience to find out, unfortunately! If you are enjoying this with food, I would stick with deserts to best pull out the sweet cherries and chocolate. In such case, try it with a flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, Chocolate Cherry Trifle, or really anything with either chocolate or cherries in it!

Photo of BudHater111
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not much for words, this I can hardly call a beer though. It is incredible, I truly love the smell and how smooth this beer is to drink. Definitely a sipping beer, not something you will want to drink down as fast as you can. Take your time and enjoy...

Photo of mostpoetsdo
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amazing ruby-mahogany color with a faint haze, but overall clear. A puffy light tan head on tap, but less lacing than desired.

S: So much going on here: sweet fruit, tart fruit, bitter hops, sweet malt, a variety of spices, alcohol. It's hard to list all of what is going on here.

T: The taste follows the nose appropriately. Apples and tart cherries are met with sweet dark fruits. There is a bunch of spicy goodness going on, the roastyness of the malt evens it all out, and becomes a warmer due to the fairly strong alcohol presence. Complex is an understatement here.

M: Full bodied, lower carbonation, not that smooth, rough around the edges with the alcohol, but all of this is not meant to sound negative. It's a big beer and wants to be known.

D: Considering the strong flavor and alcohol, it's good. A sipper for sure, but a great beer.

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby red with a creamy rich tan head - enticing.
Definitely smell the cherries first, then sweet yeast followed by wine like aromas : grape, oak with a slight smokiness. A feast for the nose.
Taste is real nice sweet and bitter from cherries, sweet yeast balanced by a slight bitterness from the oak. Finnishes a little dry drawing you back.
This smells and drinks like a wine, but mouthfeel is definitely beer. Carbonation hits the sides of your mouth then swirl to the front in a sweet frothy cream - the feel is excellent. A very drinkable beer - especially for the alcohol content.

Photo of ksimons
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-a clear brownish orangeish with just a hint of lace around the top

S-cherry sweetness, yeasty, malts, and some alcohol

T-similar to the smell, the cherry comes out in a tart sort of taste, very typical quad with the yeast and alcohol but the cherries add something different to the taste.

M-a tart/sour aftertaste due to the cherries, alcohol warms the mouth and tongue, very smooth and creamy. Medium body with moderate carbonation

D-this is my second time having this beer and it keeps getting better

Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this into a tulip shaped glass. Cloudy and dark brick red with a tall frothy slow moving head. Sticks to glass really nicely.
Very aromatic floral and spice. Malts and fruits are evident. Alcohol permiates the nose. Taste: Grains and alcohol make a splash right away, then is met with the sweet fruits and malts. Cherries, raisins and more alcohol remains for extended stay, warming with every sip. The mouthfeel is part of the taste. The carbonation expands on the palate and opens the taste buds, exposing the flavors. Creamy and velvety. Easier to drink with every sip as it warms and the initial shock of the style settles in. This really good. I like the cherry ale blended in. Pairs nicely with beef or lamb.

Photo of ryanonline
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears as a cleat yet deep brown with Ruby highlights. And a thick tan head that lasts a good portion down the glass. Moderate lacing.

Thick and deep caramel malt with a hint of roastiness and a touch of cherry.

Taste is the same with a more pronounced roastiness. The tart cherry backbone is really something else as a compliment to the thick malt profile.

Mouthfeel is creamy and mid-bodied with a very dry finish.

Moderate fullness but excellent flavor make for a drinkable brew.

I've fallen in love with this beer again after some time away. Sigh...

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

A: poured a dark brown with brown highlights with a thin head that left a little sticky lacing on the glass.

S: I really get more of a banana aroma then cherries alongside belgian yeast, brown sugar, and fruit esters. There is also a little booze presence.

T: the cherries are there on the taste but faint and the banana is still a little stronger than the cherries. The brew has the signature belgian yeast brown sugar for a quad and also has a hint of spice with slight fruit notes.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a sweet creamy and boozy finish.

D: it drank really well and was a decent quad offering that tasted legit but honestly didn't have a big kriek flavor and nose like I thought it would; it was still tasty.

Photo of Voonder
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark copper color with one finger off-white head. Head dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma - deep yeast, sweet malts with hint of fruits (cherry and apricots perhaps), warming alcohol. Taste - sweetness upfront, very fruity and malty, alcohol hidden very well, slightly bitter finish. Full body, very rich smooth quad. Extremely drinkable for ABV. Probably one of the best quads I've ever tried. Great brew!

Photo of Ghenna
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, tasted 08-10

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle, cork popped easily. Pours brown amber color (with some sediment) lots of off white head with good retention. Smells of malts chocolate and cherries.
Taste: My wife's words: it tastes like a chocolate covered cherry. True that. Cherry is very noticable. The effervescence adds a bit of an odd MF, almost makes me think dry at the end- though it isn't. Alcohol flavor becomes more apparent as the beer warms up, but still quite delicious. I've not tried a fresh bottle yet, but that will definitely be something I pick up on my next trip to total wines. Mf is pleasant. Beer is not heavy at all, and effervescence is pleasing aside from the odd sensation it lends to the beer.

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

From the 750 ml. corked bottle. Sampled on August 5, 2010. A hazy amber pour with a generous, fluffy, silky tan head that lingers and laces beautifully. The aroma is full of floral hops and a pleasing mellow maltiness with a little spiciness. Smooth but bold mouthfeel. The taste brings out the cherry and the hops more than the malts but it also brings out a noted alcohol flavor, which takes away from the overall experience for me.

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

P: 1 pint 9.4 oz. tall corked brown bottle. Pkg on 03/05/10. Best by 03/2015.

A: One and a half finger creamy head that retains well. Well carbonated! Beautiful ruby red color.

S: Carmel malts, spices. a little bit musty, but in a good way. Strong alcohol.

T: Slight cherries. strong alcohol. kind of reminds me of a beire de garde. some spices there!

M: Medium body, lots of carbonation.

D: A slow drinking beer. but still i would have a couple of these of the course of the night. i enjoyed this beer. something good right here.

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

(Original review on 02/10/2010)

Appearance - Brownish Red in appearance, deeper than your typical orange/amber Belgium Beers/ Tannish Head

Smell - Malty, nice balanced aroma of cherry and alcohol. This is what a man should want in a scented candle

Taste - Cherry and Alcohol in a pleasant mix. Cherry adds the sweet while the alcohol provides for the bitter - Ommegang has found a delicious balance

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy body, light carbination, hops are hitting the perimeter of the tongue, not aggressively, but effectively.

Drinkability - This is easily a sipping beer based on the flavor, the body and obviously the ABV. I may have to pick up a few bottles for the cellar.

Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into my Abita Baloon glass.
This beer poured a beautiful deep mahogany color, with deep ruby highlights when held to light. It poured with a magnificent crest of pillowy, slighty pinkish foam. It was nearly three fingers worth. Big gobs of lace clung to the sides of the glass.
The aroma was big and Belgian, with medicinal phenols, cherries, sweet malts, hints of spice, and alcohol. Very complex and quite pleasing. The cherry becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.
I'm loving the taste of this beer. It is a complex affair, with sweet malts, dark fruit, tart cherries, a splash of bitterness near the end, and quite a dry finish. There is a definite booziness to the beer, and not in a bad way. The alcohol warms as it goes down. As with the nose, the cherry starts to shine as the beer warms.
The beer had good carbonation, and a full, creamy feel. It wasn't as heavy as I was anticipating, but that doesn't take away from the beer.
A wonderful offering from Brewery Ommegang. I fist sampled this beer at the brewery a few days ago, and I highly recommend to anyone to take their tour. It was a good experience.

Photo of deruiz10
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 release, bomber bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - A hazy mahogany brown with a slightly red tinge, "luxurious" light brown head which fades fairly quickly. No lacing observed.

S - Mild with slightly spicy yeast and cherries interlaced beautifully. A fair alcohol presence, but overall quite tame.

T - Full and complex. The cherry flavor is beautifully integrated into the entire taste profile, from the broad malt flavor to the slightly spicy finish of yeast. Dark fruits and malts best describe the flavor, not too many exotic flavors but what's there comes together very well. The nice thing about this beer is that the cherry flavor does not come across as syrupy as is the case in many other cherry-infused beers. Not much alcohol for a 10% brew.

M - Creamy yet light and crisp with just the right amount of carbonation. I feel that it could use a slightly heavier feel to really shine, but it is far from a detractor.

D - An excellently complex Belgian-style, quite delightful. I have been saving this beer for just over a year and it was worth the wait. I'd be happy to drink more of this.

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

750mL bottle into snifter

A: clear, dark brown with a fluffy tan head.

S: cherries, lots of alcohol, malt smells like toasted brown bread.

T/M: sweetness and some tartness from the cherries up front. Finishes with the toasted bread flavor from the malt. Alcohol is slightly spicy and can be medicinal when too cold. Alcohol slightly warming. Carbonation is tight and cuts some of the sweetness from the cherries.

D: For a beer this strong, very drinkable.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark ruby red. Creamy bone colored head starts out thick but sticks around as a thin but solid layer of cream. Dark fruits and dark rich cherry aroma. The flavor follows the aroma almost exactly. The same dark fruit and cherry, along with some sweet brown sugar. Downsides are a slight metallic taste and the lack of dimension - the cherry and sugary sweetness keep the malt complexities from being noticed. Finishes sweet and a little thin.

Photo of bogus564
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

It's pretty dark - what one would expect from a quadrupel. Dark caramel color, nice and clear, with a wheat-colored head that only lasts for a minute before dissolving into lace.

Smell - Dominant: sour cherry. Submissive: hops, lemon, grass. There's a bit there to keep one's nose interested.

Taste - Doesn't disappoint. I'm catching banana, sweet cherry rather than sour cherry, and prune. It's a very nice blend of flavors, which I must admit I like more than I thought I might. Always good to be pleasantly surprised.

Mouthfeel is nice - the carbonation is not overdone, and the aftertaste is a tad sweet if anything.

Drinkability is good, though I wouldn't drink more than a couple if I had major plans. This is a delightful offering from Ommegang. Cooperstown knows Belgians.

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

750ml into a tulip. Pours a rich dark garnet brown. The belgian style just can't be beat for their consistently superb heads and this meets all expectations.

Taste follows the nose exactly, no surprises and that is just fine! Some brews fit the type that I tend to hold the glass close, much aromatic enjoyment as the smell is intoxicating then I follow with a small sip, many small sips - I can nurse a glass for quite a while.

excellent brew

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Murky,brown with moments of deep crimson.Pours out a one-finger cap of dirty white that leaves limited lacing and light carbonation.

S-Kirsch,dates and earthy yeastiness.Caramel malt and pipe tobacco.

T-Red currant,plum and dried fruit(mainly fig and cherries).A little booze and definite Belgian yeast.

M-Full,tart and warm.A well constructed quad.

D-Surprisingly good for a quad.The insistence of the cherry flavor might be it's only drawback.

Photo of nova009
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Chimay chalice

A- pours a very cloudy brown, red tints are present, one finger fluffy white head dissipates after a few minutes, spotty lacing

S- fruity, tart cherries, almost a smooth buttery note that lingers afterward

T- dark fruits particularly cherries, some apple notes as well, slight alcohol burn, belgian yeast

M- nice medium-heavy mouthfeel, coats the palate nicely, good balance of carbonation, slight burn in the mouth

D- a solid belgian quad, the alcohol is present but not overbearing, the flavors mix well even if the smell doesn't make it all that attractive, overall a nice beer worth picking up again

Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark mahogany with thick cream-colored head and great lacing.

Smell: Quite pungent with figs, plum, toffee, clove and tart cherry.

Taste: Semi-sweet figs and plum upfront with a nice clove and earthy yeast counterbalance. Cherry tartness rears its head after the initial sip and lasts for a long time. Seems as if this is more than 2% cherry-infused.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, chewy full body, quite warming.

Drinkability: Nice, alternative take on a Quad with the addition of cherry. Personally, I may have enjoyed it more without the cherry, but personal taste aside, this really is a great beer.

Photo of kwjd
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a amber-brown colour that starts off with a lot of head, but it quickly dissipates without any lacing. Smell is cherry, plum, raisin and faint Belgian yeast. Taste is a bit tart. Has the cherry that this beer advertises, but not enough of everything else I'd expect in a quad. Carbonation level is nice. A tad boozy, but I still had no trouble finishing my half of this bottle.

Photo of jporf911
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. No freshness date provided, but this kind of brew could probably age for a year or two.

Appearance- 4 out of 5. The ruby-brown color is somewhat cloudy in the first glass and very cloudy in the second due to the yeast from the bottom being poured into the glass. It is very reminiscent of cherry skin held up to a light, which I suspect is a sign of things to come. The off-white head was two fingers tall and medium in body but left wonderful lacing all around the glass.

Smell- 4 out of 5. Dark fruit, light malt, and cherries dominate the nose of this beer. A deeper whiff brings hints of alcohol and hops, but the overall scent is sweet.

Taste- 4 out of 5. Sweet and smooth. The cherry ale may only embody 2% of the overall volume, but it definitely dominates the taste. Creamy yeast flows along the tongue, bringing tastes of sweet malt and a bit of brown sugar. Gentle hops tingle on the back of the tongue before giving way to a long-lasting sweet aftertaste. There's a reason that the word "sweet" is in five of the six sentences of this part of the review; that aspect best characterizes the taste. It's not bad at all, but it should be avoided if you don't have a taste for beers on the sweeter side of the fermented spectrum.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. Medium and creamy, not at all crisp but pleasant on the tongue. The alcohol is warming but otherwise unnoticeable.

Drinkability- 4 out of 5. This is an interesting change of pace from typical quadrupels, but it's only for those who can handle a burst of sweetness that's almost like a bunch of gang-banging cherries orgasmically exploding in your mouth.
I could down easily down the whole 750ml bottle, but this beer deserves to at least be sipped frequently instead of outright chugged.

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