Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) - Brewery Ommegang
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Ratings: 5,014 | Reviews: 1,893 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev +5.1%
Thanks to demcorhip for the amazing bunch of brews he brought for me! Included were 2 of these. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Pours a dark translucent ruby colour with lots of sediment. Healthy, reddish-coloured 1/2 inch head that recedes slowly to 1/8 inch with a nice lacing and mild carbonation. Nose is quite sweet with hints of cherry, plum, port, chocolate, molasses, and mild alcohol sending it straight to the brain. Intense!
Taste is immediately alcoholic with the sourish cherry flavour coming in just behind. This is a little more tart than I thought it would be, but I like it. The cherries give way to a mild chocolate sweetness, some fruitcake flavour. Figs, plums, blackberries all make an appearance, along with a hint of coriander. Mild yeastiness in here as well. There's a multitude of complexities to this beer, very impressive. Mouthfeel is quite creamy, and it leaves the palate a little sticky. Carbonation is medium and dances the flavours around the palate just enough. Drinkable is more like sippable as this is one hefty brew, and I could keep sipping this all night. Not more than two though!
11-06-2006 02:25:17 | More by trevorwideman
4.03/5 rDev -2.7%
2005 vintage poured into a Three Philosophers chalice. Beautiful looking beer. Nice crystal clear dark ruby color. One finger of head that dissapates quickly.
Very complex brew. Some nice flavors here. Well balanced with a nice finish. This beer will only improve with age.
Nice soft bubbly mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation, as expected.
Not my favorite Ommegang offering, but a very good brew nonetheless.
11-05-2006 20:09:17 | More by muletrane
4.15/5 rDev +0.2%
Dark brown in color with mahogany highlights. The beer is topped by a thin, fizzy, tan colored head. The nose has lots of dark fruit, blackberries, plums, dark caramel toffee, dates, and the lightest hint of spice. There is a light citrus finish. The flavor really turns up the dark fruit. There must be some Belgian candy syrup in this beer. Tons and tons of blackberry, blackcherry, and dates. Light orange citrus bitterness comes across midway. The finish blends the sweet fruit, and the bitterness. There is just a mils alcohol hint on the finish. The mouth feel is just a touch thin. Overall, nice beer.
10-29-2006 15:51:09 | More by carln26
3.4/5 rDev -17.9%
Pours a gorgeous ruby brown with a slightly-lacing off-white head; the head is about half a finger and fades after about ten seconds or so. The appearance is absolutely breathtaking: if you hold Three Philosophers up to the light, it's almost pure red and translucent, with visible yeast in suspension.
Smell is a little weak-- Belgian yeast is the dominant note, with a secondary smell of bananas. It's pleasant, but a fairly standard quadrupel kind of smell, maybe a little brettier than usual. Cherries are nowhere to be found, at least not by my nose.
The kriek shows up in force in the taste. Dark malt is strong at first, but it doesn't last. Brett pops all over your tongue like in Orval, but blended with a drop of quadruppel spiciness and that. Kriek sourness lingers. The alcohol is hidden VERY well by the kriek, but is just barely noticeable on the back of the tongue.
It's weird, but I like it. I'd be interested to see how this beer tasted if they toned down the kriek slightly.
Feels like quadrupel-- smooth, substantial, and a little foamy at the end. It's my favorite beer style, so it should be no surprise that I liked it. I was actually surprised it didn't feel lighter from the added lambic, but it's 9.8%ABV, so maybe I shouldn't be.
You're not going to knock back this beer. It's too heavy, too alcoholic, and too Bretty. Savor it with a good meal and a lot of free time. I imagine this might actually be a good introduction to Belgian yeast (and even lambic), as the Brett and sourness are strong but balanced nicely by the quadrupel-style weight.
10-28-2006 01:30:11 | More by kajerm
3.48/5 rDev -15.9%
Pours and almost opaque brown into a snifter. There is a rich caramel head with good retention but little lacing to speak of.
Mild scents of sourdough bread, sweet chocolate, and figs. It's not very overwhelming but it's a pleasant scent.
Taste and Mouthfeel:
For the most part it tastes like bittersweet chocolate from the malts. It's very smooth with little carbonation. Has a nice cherry cordial finish and pretty clean after that.
It's a big malty, high ABV quad so that right there says take it easy. It's pretty tasty but the alcohol can sneak up on you.
It's kind of a "stouty" quad to me. It tastes pretty good but I don't think it's necesarilly a very good showing for the style. A good dinner beer.
10-27-2006 12:53:14 | More by Grundle20
3.63/5 rDev -12.3%
750 ml corked bottle. Poured into two pint glasses (nothing else was available), brown body with purple tints. Tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves some lacing. Highly carbonated.
Aroma: Anise, Vanilla, Butterscotch, Berries...just about the kitchen sink here. Everything but hops.
Tastes sweet with that odd astringency that belgian style ales always have to me. Malt dominates, with caramel and butterscotch qualities. The lambic's fruitiness is present in every sip but takes second fiddle to the malt. Again, no hop flavor that I could tell.
The aforementioned astringency dominates the mouthfeel, making this a dry, dry beer. Combine this with the high alcohol content and this is not an overly drinkable beer.
I know a lot of people who love this beer and I'm happy to join them in partaking of its qualities. That said, it's not one I seek out on my own.
Bottom line: a brew I appreciate more than actually enjoy.
10-26-2006 22:04:58 | More by rabsten
4.08/5 rDev -1.4%
Pours a cloudy dark copper color with a nice white head that doesn't last too long but leaves some nice lacing.
Smell is of sweet carmel, licorice, cherry as well as some yeast.
Taste is sweet initially. Some carmel as well as some toffee. This quickly changes to a bitter cherry taste. There is an after taste of cherry taffy as well.
Mouthfeel is ok and I wouldn't want to drink to many of these but it is pretty good.
Definitely an interesting combo and a good one at that. However, I prefer my quad's with out anything extra in it, but this still may be a repeat purchase.
10-25-2006 04:04:05 | More by hckyfn9999
3.93/5 rDev -5.1%
Poured from 12 oz bottle.
Appearance--Deep mahogany color. One finger worth of frothy head, with good retention. Carbonation cascaded up the side of the glass.
Smell--Very complex, notable alcohol.
Taste/Mouthfeel--Even more complex than the smell. Fruity taste with easily detectable alcohol. Good body and quite smooth. Good carbonation.
Drinkability--Surprisingly easy to drink despite being so strong and complex. No problems polishing off 750's in the past, although I'm not sure I could handle 2 of them. That's what makes the 12 oz. version so nice!
Notes--First introduced to the Ommegang line at a beer tasting in Buffalo, NY. Their beers are excellent Belgian styles--and you can't beat the price!
10-21-2006 17:34:02 | More by arnulfooxblood
3.85/5 rDev -7%
The only blended quad I've had and it was interesting to same the least. I poured a dark brown with a tinge of red. As it warms, the sour cherry smell really comes out. In general I found the lambic to dominate this beer, losing some of the more subtle flavors. There were still some good dark fruit flavors, but I'd prefer more focus on them. Only actual negative is that more the longest time the beer was overcarbonated to the point of making it hard to taste.
10-20-2006 16:10:51 | More by tempest
2.8/5 rDev -32.4%
2005 vintage consumed in Oct. of 2006.
A - Big, thick off-white foamy head. Very dark red body. Only very tiny carbonation is visible.
S - beautiful dark malt and deep cherry aroma.
T - Musty leather, sherry, mediera (has this been oxidized?), leather tar, dry with light bitterness.
M - Medium body with light carbonation.
D - Neither myself, nor any of the four people I shared this bottle with liked it at all.
Paired second glass with cherry pie without improvement.
10-18-2006 11:07:09 | More by Naerhu
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
Id seen this beer on the shelf a long while and always been intrigued by the idea of a quad with blended cherry lambic. So I finally caved, and here it goes. Poured it into my chimay chalice, careful not to disturb the sediment. Nice off white tan head with good retention. The body is a dark coffee brown with deep reddish highlights. It smells of Belgian yeast, sweet and charred malt, mild hints of coffee and caramel with a little subtle, but pleasing natural funk of lambic. The taste is crisp and malty, some definite sweetness coupled with a mild yet well balance hint of hoppy bitterness and the cherry lambic funk is definitely there yet not over pouring in the least. If one dislikes lambics they need not worry this is not a 100 funk its more just the right amount for a great all round flavor. This beer is a really fun modified quad. Honestly the flavor of cherry lambic and charred malt, with caramel, coffee and chocolate notes makes for a great beer. Id definitely buy this again especially to show it to a friend.
10-15-2006 07:35:41 | More by mmcave
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
A medium brown coloured ale with reddish hues. Nice compact 1 finger light tan coloured head. A well, medium laced, spritzy carbonated brew.
A treacly toffee with cherries, some sour funk, a touch of oak and vanilla.
Buttery and almost nutty treacle toffee. Almost vineous in character sour cherry which goes great with the touch of barnyard funk. A touch of oak and vanilla, and a wonderful earthy character.
This is an amazingly drinkable and balanced big beer. The touch of cherry lambic wonderfully compliments and adds amazing depth to the dark ale. Slight alcohol warmth is the only clue of the high alcohol content. A rich earthy feel with a hint of spice, along with the sour cherry and barnyard funk are a great counterpoint to the rich malts in this fine ale.
What an incredibly drinkable big beer full of subtle and substantial flavours. What a decadent session this would make, and also quite accessible for something with so much depth of flavour.
Was very happy to find this one almost locally. Will be a staple in my beer cupboard.
10-13-2006 16:59:58 | More by demcorhip
4.4/5 rDev +6.3%
I was somewhat concerned upon seeing with cherry-lambic added on the label. I had, however slight an expectation of drinking cloying sweet soda pop homage to the Belgian brewing art. How wrong my expectations were!
This beer poured a rosewood red hue with a tan tightly knit and sculptured head.
My particular sample had-- be it my glass the brew or the temperature, a less than exuberant head which burst forth onto the scene, than perhaps other bottle conditioned Belgian style beers Ive experienced. Hurray!
The nose was slight- almost thin but with aromatic wafts of citrus commingled with a bit of tartnessIm not certain what created that notebut tart comes to mind.
The flavor was a-- for the lack of a better term riddle. It was clean, sharp, maybe exact and right to the point but I couldnt identify a particular stereotypical beer characteristic that made me take notice. The flavor was bitter but I couldnt declare hops. The flavor had underpinnings of sweet but I couldnt justify malt. The flavor bore hints of the bucolic but there wasnt an underpinning of yeast stashed in there. The flavor was tart but by no means wild cherries. Perhaps the flavor's stance was a well-balanced combination of those four elements that made it such a taste conundrum.
The finish was much like the flavorI could taste its presence but I am unable to arrive at an apt description. My best effort at a description settles to clean and neutral. This is not to say that the finish was nondescript or unremarkablein fact the finish was rather an enjoyable part of this beer.
The mouthfeel was such that it didnt ruffle feathers but rather a drinkable combination of excitement and comfort. Despite this beers nearly 10% ABV, its cordial blended combinations made for a very pleasant pint-and-a-half.
After the last morsel dripped forth from the bottle I mused over what Id reportThree Philosophers is indeed best described as the ghost moniker on the label suggests Belgian Style Blend.
Three Philosophers was an enjoyable beer experience.
10-07-2006 05:41:39 | More by gueuzeonhigh
4.5/5 rDev +8.7%
"Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had."
"Do what is right though the world may perish."
"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
Brewed 2004. Softly glowing coral with ripe orange trim, a beautiful color that reminds me of a tropical sunset in a glass. The Belgianesque head is at least as gorgeous as the beer with its tangerine caramel color and its sticky, whipped frothiness. A meager amount of lace is the only thing keeps the appearance from perfection.
The aroma is musty and funky and spicy and herbal and all kinds of interesting; I just wish that it was more cherry-like. I would never have guessed that that particular fruit was added if it didn't say so on the label. My hope is that the cherry lambic will be more evident on the palate than it is in the nose.
This is fabulous beer! I haven't had too many quadrupels yet, but I've had enough to know what to expect. Three Philosophers is an excellent version with the added benefit of sour cherries. There's so much complexity here that my mouth doesn't know where to start, it just wants to enjoy for a while.
The malt is on the border between heavily toasted and lightly roasted, delivering such flavors as dark toffee, plum pudding, rum-soaked figs and even a little dark chocolate. Can't forget the black cherries. And the raisins. And the ground clove. This beer tastes like liquified dark Christmas fruitcake. It can't possibly become more delicious with warming, can it?
I wish now that I had poured the beer into a snifter. It deserves to be philosophized over because I'm sure that the meaning of life is in here somewhere. I'm enjoying the tartness provided by the cherry lambic, but am glad that it wasn't added with a heavier hand. No sense in turning this stately beer into a cherry fruit beer with quadrupel accents.
The body/mouthfeel is the best of both worlds. There's enough malt on hand to give the beer a mouthfillingness and a finishing stickiness, yet the energetic amount of carbonation keeps things brisk and amazingly supple. Drinkability didn't need any help, but was provided with it anyway by virtue of an outstanding mouthfeel.
I need to revisit what Brewery Ommegang has to offer since I reviewed most of their regular offerings prior to knowing what the hell I was tasting. Still though, it's hard to believe that anything in their oeuvre can compare to Three Philosophers. This is a stunning creation that was a steal at only $5.99 per bottle. I'm seriously considering buying a case because I'm sure that this nectar will age like a dream. Highly recommended.
10-03-2006 22:15:22 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance - A super murky (can't see through it, and I didn't pour the yeast in, either) brownish red color is what is left in the glass after the pour. The head is about three fingers in height and is a light tan color. The texture of the head is quite creamy and it has excellent retention with superb lacing down the glass.
Smell - Upon smelling this brew, you can definitely affirm what's on the label, that it is blended with a cherry lambic. Accordingly, it has a quite pungent cherry aroma right off the bat. Other dark ripe fruits along with some very floral hops characters pair with the cherry. A rich, grainy, and cooked malt aroma ties it all together, along with a moderate alcohol spiciness. Just smelling this stuff, you know you're in for something powerful.
Taste - A very complex brew, you really have to strain your tasting ability to nail all the flavors in this beer. Obviously the cherry lambic blend comes out quite strong, along with some strong dark chocolate and coffee notes. Caramel and molasses are also present. Plum, fig, and other dark fruits, along with a strong floral hops presense are just a few more of the wide array of flavors in this brew. The malt character now almost tasted a bit toasted. It is very rich and strong in flavor. This stuff reminds me of the Rogue Old Crustacean. The alcohol, at nearly 10%, is actually well-hidden for that high of a level. Make no mistake, though, it is certainly noticeable.
Mouthfeel - On the high end of medium-bodied and of excellent smoothness. The carbonation is a bit more than I would have liked for this style. There is a slightly unpleasant bite accompanying every sip. I think letting the beer warm or sit for a few minutes extra may help this, though.
Drinkability - Huge and robust flavors in every department, especially the malt character. One of these and I'm done with any kind of strong dark ale for the night. But this stuff is so darn good that I simply can't bring myself to dock points from this category that much.
This is a powerful and quite strong beer that is ultra complex. If you don't like full-flavored and robust beers, then steer clear of this one, because you will surely cower in fear at its awesome power. A must have for those who love lots of flavor and complexity!
09-23-2006 05:49:01 | More by dblinkhorn
4.28/5 rDev +3.4%
Very nice brew quite a tasty tidbit with the addition of the Lambic to the Quad.
MASSIVE chestnut brown pour just a never ending ivory head, sticky sheet lacing everywhere.
Fruity apples and Belgium yeast in the aroma. Wheres the cherry? Oh, there it is, just underneath the malty backbone. Almost had an anise undertone reminiscent of a RIS. Very fizzy and highly carbonated.
I thought it was pretty boozy, as it put my wife right to bed Heh, more for me .. but at only 10%, I wished I had more than one bomber.
On the sweetish side, but I think it was still too powerful of a brew for the wifey. Ill have another, thanks.
09-20-2006 13:06:13 | More by Vancer
3.75/5 rDev -9.4%
Tall cap, big tan colored bubbles that fades to something moderate. Hazy chestnut color and ruby red when held to the light. Malty nose with notes of caramel and toasty malts. Extremely carbonated, phenolic, crisp alcohol presence, very dry bitterness and tart background. Cherries and cranberries make a distinct appearance. Medium body with a watery, carbonated mouth feel like soda pop. Charred oak and nutty flavors. Losses some of its carbonated quality towards the end. This was certainly a fairly complex beer but still fell short of expectation.
09-19-2006 23:51:30 | More by cabsandking
3.6/5 rDev -13%
This is my second review of this beer. The reason that I am reviewing it again is because I just opened a new bottle of it (same year as the last one: 2005) and I noticed a DRASTIC difference in taste.
It poured a deep reddish brown color. Fizzy thick head that took a while to settle down. Smell was similar, but more fruity. Then the first taste--BANG. This is completely different than my last experience. The black cherry flavor was overwhelmingly strong and it finished much more bitter than dry. It's incredible to see such variation. Wow.
Still very good, but not as good as my first bottle.
09-19-2006 21:31:56 | More by Rudgers73
3.83/5 rDev -7.5%
Poured dark and opaque with deep crimson tones. A large head formed, and clinged for a long time.
NOTE: DANGER!!!! I unscrewed and removed the cage, and several seconds later the cork popped off on its own. Quite a shock, and a potentially dangerous situation. Zoinks!
The smell was not near as strong as I expected, with malt and yeast smells being dominant. The smell is all sweet with a slight hint of alcohol, cherry, and other candied flavors.
In the mouth, the beer was very thick and syrupy. This is expected behavior, but it is always an experience even if you know its coming.
Tastewise, there was a surprisingly strong hop presence. The beer has a spicy and warm flavor that nicely compliments the bitter. Aftertaste has a touch of cherry, but not all that much for this being a lambic-blended Quad. Definitely a complex and tasty beer, but not al that drinkable. The 750mL size was bordering on too much for me by myself. It didn't take long for my cheeks to flush drinking this.
Overall, it was an interesting beer. The bottle size allowed it to warm to room temperature, offering a variety of flavors and temperatures to take in. The hop presence was surprising, but not offensive. Excellent beer. I'm warm and happy.
09-17-2006 21:33:47 | More by jhollick
3.73/5 rDev -9.9%
2005 bottle pours a murky mahogany color, with a one finger head and nice retention. No lacing, and only a small ring of bubbles are left behind.
Aroma is massively aromatic and complex. cherries, both sweet and sour, malt, toffee, caramel, roasted grains, and other dark berried dominate the nose. Smells fairly sweet, and has a faint hint of alcohol to it as well.
The flavor is also hugely complex. Very well balanced and blended, not allowing either the malt or the cherries to overpower one another. Slightly sweet up front, with a dry finish, the flavor lingers for quite some time. Nice to have a fruit flavored beer that doesn't taste artificial.... quite hard to do in my opinion. No alcohol present on the palate. Mouthfeel is very heavy, coating and smooth. Drinkability is decent, but I think it could improve with a bit more carbonation to lift the heavy flavors from your tongue.
Quite good overall, as are all of the Ommegang products. I'll be curious to see how the other bottle turns out after a couple years in the cellar.
09-16-2006 01:26:05 | More by phisig137
3.1/5 rDev -25.1%
Deep red/brown poured into a snifter; not opaque but very hazy with very sturdy lacing after the head dies down. Definitely one of those beers that simply look like they must taste good.
Man! Flat-out loaded with fragrances. Sour cherry, roasted malt, English toffee, cream sherry & many others that my still-budding nose will be able to detect with more training. Looks & smells like a winner, just need to let it warm up a bit.
Hmm tart (cherry) at first, but then spreads across the palate with a harsh-bitterness; like over-roasted malt which leaves a rather unwelcome aftertaste. Definite alcohol presence with a bread-like flavor in the back end, almost a marble rye. Not very enjoyable thus far but I think Ill take Jasons advice & pair it with some Danish blue.
After pairing with the cheese I must say there is some improvement in taste; the unsavory aftertaste is certainly reduced. However, Im still just not wild about this beer.
Has a nice bubbly texture but then coats the mouth with some unwelcome astringency. That aside, its not nearly as heavy a brew as Id expected & thus, if its to your taste, makes for a pretty drinkable beverage.
09-15-2006 03:14:23 | More by malcontent
3.48/5 rDev -15.9%
Poured out of a 12oz brown bottle. Deep amber color, almost like strong iced tea with ruby red accents. Suspect some sediment to be floating around in there but can't see it, as it's nearly opaque. Two-finger off-white head, fluffy but not very stiff, dissipates quickly leaving considerble lacing around the underside of the tulip's rim.
The nose consists of sweet yeast and toasty malts, cherry, black berry, butterscotch, and toffee. The flavor profile follows the aroma's, along with some of a phenolic characteristic and a moderate flash of alcohol, as to be expected at 9.8%.
The mouth is light on the tip of the tongue, moving into a semi-dry stretch of malt and yeast, then into the sugary, yet some what harsh and medicinal finish. It has decent drinkability, and I don't mind a strong presence of alcohol, but I think they over did it just a bit on this one.
Solid, but not worthy of regular revisits.
09-14-2006 17:10:05 | More by Osiris9588
4.08/5 rDev -1.4%
Drank from a 750 ml bottle purchased at Mall Discount Liquors, Cambridge, MA
Poured a dark, murky, ruby-brown with a large, caramel-colored head that was thick and foamy. Spotty, cascading lacing trickled down the glass.
Aroma was rich and complex, sweet and malty. Some cherry and/or raspberry was immediately noticeable. Hints of caramel, raisins, prunes, spices and brown sugar were also detectable.
Taste was malty, creamy, toffee-like and alcohol rich with a consistent, subtle, hoppy overtone detectable from start to finish. Nice melding of flavors. Alcohol was somewhat noticeable at the start and crescendoed at the finish. Slightly dry and hoppy aftertaste. No cherry flavor was detectable but there was a touch of tartness (the bottle stated that this was a quadrupel with cherry lambic added).
Mouthfeel was rich and creamy but somewhat thinner than expected. Carbonation was a bit overdone.
Drinkability was quite good considering the 9.8% ABV.
Overall, a terrific quadrupel and an outstanding value for your money.
09-10-2006 21:01:41 | More by Damian
4.22/5 rDev +1.9%
This was really good. Poured from the bomber to a reddish brown color with off-white head, that lingered and left very good lacing. Aroma was strongly cherry, with malty sweetness evident. Body was medium, and at first, highly carbonated. Taste was more of the cherry, mixed well with the traditional ale taste. As beer warmed, the alcohol became more evident in the nose and taste, but still well blended with the cherry ale. Excellent warming finish as the alcohol took hold, and a very smooth after-taste. I will look for more of this in the coming winter.
09-09-2006 02:20:04 | More by kimcgolf
3.43/5 rDev -17.1%
Labeled "Brewed 2005" at the top:
Real nice three to four finger head. As it receedes a bit the head leaves some lacing along the sides of the glass. The color can only be described as garnet. Head retention could be better, the head continusously receedes Lacing qualities aren't all that great.
The nose is malty sweet. Caramel malts, small amouts of phenols-cloves/banannas. No hop aroma as can be expected with this style... Well I can't say no hop aroma-there's a very small amount of a spicy aroma in this brew, probably from the use of some noble hop.
In my opinion the taste of this beer is just not as good as it smells. I definitely expected to taste something much more sweet; something more reminiscent of the aroma. The beer is good, but dosen't seem to live up to its aroma. The flavors aren't very pronounced. Perhaps my taste buds are off today, or perhaps the flavors or just to complex and blended so well that I'm missing something. Alcohol is detectable, but in small amounts-basically its not all that perceieable.
This beer is full bodied and is easy to drink. I think that I'll definitely try this one again. I want to see if I have the same experience that I've had with this one. This beer goes down very well there's nothing wrong with it that would make it hard to drink, could almost drink this all night. However, I find the flavor of this beer to be more bland than other beers I've had; beers that I would rather drink all night. All in all its above average and I like it, but in the way of Quadrupel, I prefer Rochefort 10.
09-09-2006 01:44:16 | More by becktone
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 5,014 ratings.