1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

5,470 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,470
Reviews: 1,940
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 239
Gots: 778 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,470 | Reviews: 1,940 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mobyfann
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Paid $18.99 for the three-pack gift set...

The beer pours a cloudy brown base, moderate sized head, very good head retention, minimum lacing on the glass. Aroma: oh my malt, sweet caramel malts, fresh fresh fresh, smells like some candy right out of the oven, elegant!

The taste hits the spot, light in the mouth, moderate carbonation, starts off a little smokey, sweet and fresh malts through delivery, smooth finish, excellent aftertaste, no sign of alcohol as other quads usually fault here; very nice! Excellent in the mouth for a beer that acts like a wine and at 9.8% the bomber is an ideal sized session brew!

Final Thought: Best Quad to date, it contains no faults except a little less flavor that one would expect. Classic!

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

Poured from a 2008 Bottle into an Ommegang Tulip.

A: When held to the light the beer has a rich amber color with the fine beads of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Upon initial pour the beer formed a rich, beige head about 2.5 fingers in height. The head reduced to a fine layer of bubbles which would stick with the beer throughout.

S: Following a quick pass of the glass under the nose, the first smell that comes to mind is bananas. However, allowing the head to die down, giving the beer a slight swirl reveals hints of a smell reminiscent of a sweet Bing cherry's taste, yeasty dough,mashed ripe banana and if you smell immediately after swirling you can catch a hint of vanilla that seems to be intertwined with the banana.

T: The first taste thing you taste are the cherries, and not the overly sweet Maraschinos, but rather the restrained sweetness of a perfectly ripe Bing and its a big flavor that will influence the rest of the of your experience. If you can move beyond the tingling being experienced by the tip of your tongue thanks to both the sweet cherries and fine carbonation, you'll find your mid palette treated to a bitter-sweet cocoa, espresso and maybe a touch of clove. If you hold the beer in your mouth and allow the vapors to trail through your sinuses and into your nose, allowing for an interpretation of the smell enhanced by the taste, you'll notice sweeter cherry and chocolate notes, making a smell which reminds me of the taste of a chocolate covered cherry. The beer finishes strong on the back of the palette, bitter with a hint of restrained sweetness, reminding me very much of pumpernickel raisin bread. There is a hint of mashed banana as it makes it's way out of your mouth. For a beer with a rather high ABV at 9.8%, the beer manages to hide the alcohol taste quite well, though the slight alcoholic warmth could be felt, it was an entirely enjoyable experience. My only real complaint is that this delicious beer, which starts and finishes so well, leaves an unpleasant and extremely bitter aftertaste in the back of your mouth, should you take too long between sips.

M: the beer has a light, frothy feel thanks to its fine bubble carbonation. I can imagine that this beer would go exceptionally well with a nice ripe brie.

D: While I would never turn down a glass, I don't really feel that this is an exceptionally drinkable beer. The taste, while at first exceptional and delicious, becomes almost burdensome over the course of the 1pt 9.4oz bottle. I see this as a sipping beer for special occasions with a group of people who appreciate and unique and delicious beer, though I don't see it as something meriting more then one bottle for an evening.

All in all, this was a delicious beer and something quite different from the Quadrupels I've had in the past. That said, if I decide to pick up a few more bottles, they will definitely be for aging and special gatherings, rather than regular consumption.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 750 ml bottle with a twist top and a cork

Appears a reddish Amber, Clear see through - morning on the ocean with a pink sky.

Yeasty bread smell / slight fruit scent

Tastes of Cherry with a bready yeast, relatively strong alcohol flavor, with some spices, possibly nutmeg and Clove

Mouthfeel is medium body, slightly alchy feel, not chewy, slightly sugary

Drinkable, however when you get this in a 750 ml bottle , you need to be dedicated to it. Takes some getting used to , I have not had a beer like this one before.

Photo of Nowhereman529
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice hazel color from the bottle with a little haziness. A small amount of sudsy head formed only to dissipate a moment later.

S: Smell is heavy on yeasty bread dough, a little phenol and a little clove. Less fruity than I would have expected from a quad.

T: Yeasty, very much like a bread dough. There's also a little bit of lemony citrus in the background. As the beer warms to room temperature a spicier flavor comes out with nutmeg or allspice coming to mind. A little berry (cherry?) flavor comes through with the warming as well.

M: Medium body, not quite as dry as I had expected. Reasonable amount of carbonation.

D: This is a pretty drinkable draught. Nicely crafted and pretty unique in flavor. Would pick this up again.

Photo of stlsportster
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2008 vintage 750 ml with a corktop and cage, poured into an Ommegang glass.

Poured reddish amber with a healthy head, which hung around and left nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is strong with cherries. You can really get a feel for the lambic.

Low carbination, not a lot of bite, but a strong taste of the cherry lambic on the finish, which gets much stronger as the beer warms. (as does the taste of alchohol).

Overall not crazy about this beer.

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

2005 vintage just screaming to be drank. Poured into the 60's era Chimay chalice...why not, I figure it needs some action too.

Stunning raspberry red color, a fine slightly hazy brew that stirs up a small but long-lived white foam. Aroma of deep sweet malts and cherry Slurpee; no Smarties aroma like many other quads including Westy 12.

Slightly sweet like a good quad should be, with malt dominance and good drinkability for the strength. Alcohol is no where to be found, but an experienced beerie could tell it's there from the esters and sheet malt presence, which is slightly sticky. Faint hop bitterness gets sidelined almost as fast as it appears by the sheer malt mayhem.

Mouthfeel is deceptive, because despite the beer's weight and stickiness the body still doesn't seem that big. Mineral content is present in the water and comes through similar to a fine Scotch.

As for the age, I suspect this beer is past it's prime and is probably better around a year old and not with the 4 years this one has on it. Still remarkable and very authentic for the Belgian style. Very different from others in it's class, though.

Carbonation is fairly low, even for my standards. I'd care for a tiny bit more. No where near the typical Belgian foamer that you need to let settle (I'm thinking especially of Chimay and Orval).

A very good beer for quad lovers. Would make an excellent pairing with mussels, especially if cooked with them as well. Cheers!

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

750ml cork & cage bottle of the 2008 release served in a goblet.

L - dark reddish-brown color with a beige head that stays around as a layer leaving blotchy spots of lacing.

S - sour cherries and earthiness.

T - tart cherry flavor upfront, yeasty midway, finishing dry with a hint of alcohol.

F - medium/full bodied with a velvety smooth feel.

D - goes down smooth and easy.

Photo of Nick3
3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer poured into a Rochefort chalice. Beer is a beautiful dark brown color with a purple hue. Beer has a pleasing cherry molasses boquet. Taste is pretty good but a bit of let down after the look and smell. Beer springs onto your palate nicely with good carbonation. However, the finish loses some points with me as the cherries just aren't balanced out well with the alchohol and other flavors. Overall, a pretty good beer but I was hoping for a bit more out of an Ommegang quad.

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

She pours a coppery color with little head to speak of that goes away a bit too quickly. I would say that this beer was a bit old, but given the style I wouldn't think that would be a bad thing.
The smell is strong cherries and alcohol, with some yeasty esters lingering in the back.
The taste is cherries at first, which quickly fades into a yeasty malty balance that is quite nice.
The mouthfeel is nice, a bit thin, but layered quite nicely between the cherry and the malt.
The drinkability is a little low, this is a definite sipper to be shared with a couple of people.
A nice example of a strong fruit beer, the cherries blend quite well with the overall flavor of the beer.

Photo of drtth
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This is a 12 oz bottle of the 2008 release.

Appearance: Mahogony in color with a ¾" think light tan head that recedes quickly to leave behind a small ring of foam around the glass and some fine spots of lacing.

Smell: The first impression is of dark brown sugar or dark caramel malt, dark fruits and cherry. Repeated samplings of the aroma reveal a hint of alcohol but it is not so strong as to be really noticeable at first.

Taste: The dark brown sugar and caramel hit the tongue first with a light tart cherry flavor following on. There is plum in here along with some other dark fruit. The alcohol comes through in the finish but is not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with minimal carbonation. The finish is lightly sweet with dark brown sugar taste and cherry tartness that goes on and on and on.

Drinkability: This is a wonderful beer for sipping on a cold winter night but I'll not want more than one. Much too rich to drink more than one. While different from it this beer seems the equal of the Rochefort 10 I had last night.

Photo of RichT73
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Andy's Corner Tavern in Northern Jersey, one of my favorite places to go for great beer. While I'm not usually a fan of this type of beer, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. For the amount of alcohol in this beer, it was very drinkable. There was a strong aroma of cherry on every sip, which I really wasn't crazy about, but I could have definitely knocked back a couple more easily. Would love to have this one again, but wouldn't rush back for it.

Photo of midnite2sixman
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one as a special edition draft at Butch's in Holland, Michigan. Kudos to Lance for pulling in 2 sixth barrels from Ommegang!

Nice reddish brown color.

Big cherry smell on the nose. Not big in a bad way. Also some brown sugar.

Cherry on the tongue, nice smoothness. Black cherries, smooth, quad style.

Quite a wonderful beer!

Photo of Newmerator
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing beer. First time I tasted it actually.

A - Deep brown, reddish/copper in color. Cream color head. Good retention. Remarkable lace, sticks all over the glass.

S - cherry, smells like a lambic. A bit sour. Blegian yeast

T - cherries in the back. Definitely not what I expected. Not as sour as I'd thought. Black pepper. A bit yeasty. Some sugary malt taste. Fig. Spicy.

M - Sooo silky smooth and creamy! Full bodied.

D - great. I agree it would be good for pairing with cheeses or a meal instead of drinking alone. But, if there wasn't cheese in the fridge, I would exactly refrain from drinking it.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Snifter

A-Deep brown with a redish tint and a nice creamy head that stay the entire time in the glass

S-Cherry dominates the nose with some richer malt and sugarey sweetness

T-The lack of cherries in the flavor was suprising more dominated by spices and a rich fig flavor. Cherries in the middle and finish

M-Medium body but I did find it a tad over carbonated. Is very smooth and a good nice finsih

D-Not something I would have alot but I will for sure have this again. High alchol makes it a little harder to drink on a regular basis

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

poured into a dokel. with a thick white head and a reddish pale color with a hue of brown and orange. really quite different than any other quad.

smell is rich malts and cherries some distant spices, cloves, cinnamon, some apricots, apples and figs.

Taste is quite different than the smell, some major apple notes and an array of malt flavors. This has almost a cheap Brandy kind of sweetness to it with a boozy tingle in the background.

mouth is crisp but oddly viscous. medium carbonation and a great finish. This beer drinks easy, too easy for 9.8% Great, Great beer. definitely not the best Quad but it's a great creative representation.

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ML into a snifter/ 2008 version

P: Caramel brown from the bottle, bright crimson shaded plum in the glass. The two fingered khaki-colored head is thick & frothy, showing superb retention. Seriously, the head was around for more than 10 minutes! It faded in a somewhat rocky fashion and left plenty of webbed lacing behind.

A: Sweet malts, very pronounced sour cherries, candied sugar, alcohol, and yeast.

T: Whoa! You can definitely taste the Lambic characteristics in here. It lends that certain sour, kind of tart flavor to the beer. And I like it! Sweet, toasted malt bill takes center stage and never relinquishes the spotlight. The cherries are both deliciously sweet like maraschino juice, and tart like a Lambic. A moderate amount of candied sugar is there to make sure that sweet stomps the hell out of any bitter that might try to flare up. Slightly herbal hops are faint, but work nicely with the cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper-like spiciness on the back half and the finish.

M: Three Philosophers weighs in just a notch below full-bodied, but is rich & smooth nevertheless. It's also aggressively carbonated for an expansive feel on the palate.

D: Drinkability is well above average due to the great flavors. But like all Quads, it's too sweet and intoxicating to possibly partake of another.

Notes: Definitely on the sweet side (like a Quad should be) but not at all overwhelming. What really makes this beer standout to me is the Cherry Lambic that was blended in. It gives it that sour tartness that really plays well off of the sweetness, while providing the palate with a dazzling display of cherry brilliance. This is very, very good beer!

Photo of photomike
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL 2006 bottle poured into my Westmalle chalice.

Pours an ugly-lookin brown with a small, quickly dissipating, pillowy yellowish beige head that dies down to lumpy little leprosy-like patches of yeasty bubbles. Its so patchy, in fact, it is rivalled only by my moustache in patchiness.

Smell is nice though; Good amounts of cherry on the nose, sweet malts, hint of clove. Actually smelled really sour until it warmed up a bit.

Taste is great. Drinkable and smooth without showing the 9.8% ABV. Definitely a good amount of cherry from the blended lambic in there, but also some molasses or caramel and maybe even cinnamon, but malts are the real star here.

Mouthfeel is pretty darn smooth. Maybe the age has lightened up the effect of the alcohol sting other reviewers mention, because I really don't get much at all. A slight gummy feeling on the back of my tongue that is not altogether unpleasant.

Will buy again.

Photo of trbergman
2.48/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Cloudy, tawny-garnet body with a dense, half-inch taupe head.

S - Aromatic with hints of brown sugar and cherries. Complex malt profile includes nuts and toast, with yeasty dried fruit esters.

T - Somewhat harsh on the palate with hot alcohol, and perhaps a bit phenolic. Tastes of dried apricots, raisins, and dried apples, with a touch of cloves.

M - On the one hand, smooth and creamy with full body and round mouthfeel - on the other, rather biting.

D - The look and smell are there, but in the mouth it's a boozy mess of a beer. Not recommended.

Photo of jsapunor
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful dark red color. Not too much head. The smell give hints of the sweetness to follow.

Lots of malt taste here and then sweetness. The cherries make their presence felt along with hops in wonderful balance. The mouthfeel is very good with the proper amount of carbonation for the style.

All in all a great sipper with a lot of complexity to hold your interest. Lots of alcohol but it is well hidden.

Very, very nice!

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

This is an original Three Philosophers 750ml (2002/maroon label)? The beer has aged surprisingly well. A nice pop of the cork, beautifully laced pours, and a delightful head retention immediately hint at a well-preserved ale. Oxidation has served it well. Old Ale qualities such as caramel, nuts (walnuts in this case) and, as one 2007 review of this 2002 vintage claimed, a beer that expresses an almost kriek-like lambic charcateristic. All in all, glad that I aged this one.

Photo of JonMich13
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = Murky brownish red. Cloudy. Not much head on my pour. Virtually no lacing.

S = Sweet and malty. Definitely some dark fruits.

T = Very malty. Brown sugar and cherry with some spicy notes as well. Slight hop on the finish. Well balanced brew here. Nicely complex.

M = Nice medium mouth feel. Ample carbonation.

D = Nicely drinkable. High ABV is well hidden. Finishes pretty easy and goes down smooth.

Overall, very good American attempt at a Belgian quad.

Photo of PirateUlf73
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Has the year 2007 on the neck. Poured into a chalice glass. Took forever and a day to get the damn cork out. That sucker didn't want to budge!

A: Dark brown and cloudy with an off-white bordering on tan head. Retained and laced very nicely.

S: Sweet dark malts and tangy dark fruits on the nose. Hints of cherries and raisins abound. Also a soft suggestion of chocolate. Very rich aromas.

T: Rich and malty up front with lots of fruity sweetness. Cut ever so slightly by a distinct tartness. It almost like tasting a good red wine. Very rich, very deep, VERY complex.

M: Rich and meaty mouthfeel that still manages to come off silky smooth. Carbonation is low but still enough to go around.

D: Very much the sipping brew. An ideal after-dinner beverage.

I found it hard at times to describe what I was sensing, because this is by far one of the most complex beers I've ever tasted. The combination of Quad and Kriek works very well for me, especially since I'm still developing my Lambic chops. If you've yet to try this, go and buy one now!

Photo of damienblack
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, rich amber. Two finger head, frothy and peach colored. Smells hugely malty, with a bit of fruity sweetness (strawberry, cherry). Also strongly smells of belgian yests. A pleasant smelling beer.

Tastes like a fruitier version of a belgian dark, really doesn't have the complexity or depth of malt as a quad. Nice in that while it has a strong malt presence, it isn't overbearingly sweet. Smooth if not overly deep, or creamy, or alluring. I just find the depth and flavor a little shallow. A rush of dark fruit at the end provides a slightly harsh (or a little bittersweet) ending. I much prefer this to other similar belgian cherry-inspired beers, like Mad Elf. This has a medicinal, cloying aspect to it as well, but the flavor works much better. Extremely drinkable, this seems as good a place as any as an introduction to the Belgian style.

Photo of bfields4
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large three finger head. Gives way to a brown to amber hue.

Smells of rich cherries and malty sweetness.

Sweet dark malts carry over to the tongue. Some fruity notes are coupled with a mint, licorice, brown sugar spice plethora to make this beer a pleasure to drink. A medicinal crispness flows through the back of this beer.

Just flows down so smooth across the palate. I really enjoy this beer. One of the few American brewers to nail this style. Not quite as great as its Belgian brother's, but I would never turn one down.

Photo of Duhast500
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay glass.

The color is a nice dark amber.

The smell is cherries, some barely flavor. Is sweet with a light malt flavor.

The taste is sweet sugar with a nice dark cherry taste. Some hints of malt, a little grain and some brown sugar.

My first Belgian quad and it was a great experience. The mouth feel to this beer was nice and light and was easy going down. Overall it was memorable beer experience.

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
93 out of 100 based on 5,470 ratings.