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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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5,662 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,662
Reviews: 1,985
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 263
Gots: 967 | 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: 5,662 | Reviews: 1,985 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mizary
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of Natural510
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of SaucyA
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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!


Photo of mklinger
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

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

Pours a dark ruby/maroon color. Very nice looking. Aroma is overall sweet.. sort of hard to pick many different things out but its sugary. Flavor is similar to aroma, quite sweet with a sugary, candy-ish presence. Some dark fruit and a hint of Belgian spice but mostly a malty, sweet affair. No hop bitterness at all (but why would you expect any?). Mouth is full-bodied and pleasant. Crisp carbonation. Not too heavy really.. If you're into sweetness its very good, I could see it being a bit much for some but even with the higher abv I could easily drink more than one in a sitting. Quite good.

Photo of Lolli1315
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle.

A- A dark brownish redish color with a small head but great lacing. Almost reminds me of a wine. This beer looks great in a glass, especially the ommegang goblet.

S- Herbal type of smell, alcohol is noticeable as well.

T- Slight taste of apple, but dark malts seems to dominate this beer. The back end the alcohol hits you, but it isn't uncomfortable.

M- Good level of carbonation and medium bodied.

D- This certainly isn't a beer that you are going to drink quickly, but that is the beauty of it. This is great for a dessert when you want to wind down the night rather than start it up.

Notes: Made the mistake of drinking this beer by itself rather than pairing something along with it, should have taken the warning. Won't make the same mistake twice, wouldn't want to waste this one.

Photo of kegger22
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown with a respectable head that fades quickly. The aroma I get is malty sweetness and alcohol. The taste is sweet with an underlying sourness and yeh, I can taste dark cherries. Mouth feel is about medium bodied with a little carbonation at the tip of the tongue. I think this is a sipper because of the sweetness and ABV. Overall, though the flavor was not what I expected, I both liked and recommend it. The quads are a tough category of beers and there are other great ones out there.

Photo of jkc88
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark red to brown. Has a thick almond colored head.

S: Dark fruits and yeast with a little bit of ethanol.

T: It has a nutty and yeasty flavor, with hints of fig. Ends with a little bit of spiciness.

M: Medium bodied, fairly light for a quad.

Overall a very solid beer. Good flavor and fairly drinkable despite the high alcohol content.

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

Nice big white head, dark amber copper color. Smell is incredible, not very overpowering, but almost had a cognac smell to it. Taste at first comes and you kinda hard with the tartness, I was expecting something more on the sweet side, after you get over that initial shock and know what to expect, it had a real nice mild sweetness, I know it has cherry added, but it comes across more tart, like raisin and plum. This is really a complex beer. Mouthfeel is great with a med to thin body.

Overall this is one great beer, very complex and a great deal for a Belgian style beer with an American price tag to boot.

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

This is one of my favorite Belgian styles beers. Perhaps because it is an American beer it is priced below the import Belgians and over the past year I have enjoyed a number of bottles of this brew. At home I drink this beer in my favorite snifter since that glass opens the smell nicely bringing out the fruit tones and earthiness of the beer. The color is a dark caramel with a white head that pours nicely from the bottle. The head does tend to fade quickly with no lacing which leads the drinker to think there will be no body but the mouth feel is big and full while not being over powering. This is a drinkable beer great to enjoy with a number of foods. I have paired this with grilled chicken and fish and vegetables with great success.

Photo of disastermouse
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been meaning to try this out for a while..

A - Dark tea colored, brown-white head, moderate lacing that doesn't cling to the glass.

S - Boubon maple. Strong boubon smell! Honey with bubblegummy yeast.

T - What a balance! Bitter leaves, maple at the start, bourbon and honey in the middle, finished with a dry cidery taste but the boubon chases it down.

MF - thick, substantial, and moderately fizzy. Less carbonation than I'd have expected but what I'd have prefered - so a happy surprise.

D - Easy to drink for the type. It does sit heavy in the stomach. A great beer for sipping at a fire, having philosophical thoughts - much like wine in that regard.

I typically like a more traditional Belgian dark or abbey, bit this was a pretty cool switch-up! Will get again.

Photo of MyGoodness
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Perhaps I was a little disappointed in this beer because the waitress who served it to me talked it up a great deal. The thing that struck me as odd was the overwhelming scent of this beer. It reminded me very much of cheap cognac. Otherwise, not bad. It was reddish brown colour (maybe it was the dim lighting in the beerhall) with a thin head. The mouthfeel was pleasant. As for the taste, it also reminded me of a chocolatey, cognac-y concoction. It wasn't bad, but I had high hopes. Bit of a let down.

Photo of Rhynes2
3.54/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First few sips of this brew were a bit intense. Pours out a very thick dark copper color. Huge foamy head as well but no lacing at all. Carbonation was right on. Very smokey tasting with some light hints of cherry. Just a little too sweet for my taste. I would however buy this again.

Photo of Amalak
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had out of 25.4 oz. bottle.
A- Brown, dark color to it. Opaque. Bubbly head, thick with great lacing.
S- Slight maltyness to it.
T- Full-bodied. The cherry comes through too much for my liking. Kind of acidic in some ways.

I have no doubt this is a high quality beer, but for $10, this is a one-time buy.

Photo of deaconoflove
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ap. Nice deep coloring with medium head, probably served too cold.
Sm. Pleasant, slightly spicy.
Ta. Gentle spice flavor, a little sweet, with a very burnt coffee finish on a 20-second delay. Really good.
Mf. Smooth,nice carbonation.
Dr. Very good. Easy sipping after a nice meal.

Photo of MVotter
4.97/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Ommegang Three Philosophers pour into a chalice a somewhat foggy dark-tea, with a thich, two-finger head.

The aroma is sweet, sweet malts ... some alcohol, (some grass possibly?)

The taste is an amazing combination of licorice, and roasted, sweet malts, cherry, (banana, I think) and a warming alcohol finish ... wow!

The mouthfeel is very effervescent ... just a terrific dryness to compliment those sweet malts alluded to above.

This quad is dangerously drinkable; hands down my fave quad. Other quads have been too heavy, too much of a synthetic taste, etc. This brew is none of that!

It IS what you are looking for in a quad. It is why we drink craft beer. It is the product of artisans of the brew ... absolutely, friggin' delicious!

Three WISE Philosophers, indeed.

Photo of GordonQuid
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750Ml corked bottle to a suitable goblet.

Poured a deep mahagony black opaque. Like the blood of an evil doer.... Creamy off white head firm with heavy lacing.

Smells like pure cherry cordial's smashed in caramel and cream...

Taste is a full bodied elixir of complex black patent, chocolate, cara malts and dark fruit. Cherry lambic in the finish very complex and gratifying

More over it is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding , but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.

Sorry this stuff takes you to a higher level... EXCELLENT!

Photo of ricke
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

A: Dark reddish brown, almost more red than brown actually. Slightly hazy. A very big yellowish head fizzes away rather quickly but leaves stylish lacings.

S: An interesting smell that's kind of hard to pinpoint. Plenty of malts, dark bread yeast and prominent notes of berries. Quite a lot of chocolate as well, herbs and grass. After a while an unusual smell of roasted and tart aromas develops. This is really a complex smell with a wide range of different components. It's slightly edgy and perhaps it doesn't make it all the way, but it's still pleasant and interesting.

T: A nice character of sweet Belgian style dark ale in the fore, with the typical mix of powerful malts and vinous notes of cherries and other dark berries and spicy and herbal yeast. Some caramelized sugar, chocolate and grass. Faint notes of bubblegum and soft candy. In the middle, a gentle tartness develops (might this be the kriek lurking in the shadows?). The finish is slightly bitter with notes of coffee, iron and stale bread, perhaps even some hop notes. The alcohol is noticeable in a not entirely integrated way.

M: The body is not as big as I think I would have wanted it to be, and the lack of body results in the flavors coming out as a bit thin as well. The finish is slightly dry, whilst the mouthfeel is smooth.

D: An impressive tasty and complex beer which I enjoyed quite a bit. But it's slightly edgy and I don't think it really manages to succeed in the ambitious task it sets up for itself.

Photo of NewGeneric
3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this yesterday after work. Poured a burgundy color with light beige head that faded quick and left light lacing. Smelled of fruity yeast, malt, slightly sour and toasty. Tasted almost exactly the same. Very smooth. Finished the bottle, but not sure about wanting to drink any more of this.

Photo of Andreji
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very surprised by this beer. somewhat of an 'extreme' version of the ommegang line, since others (rare vos, hennepin) seemed more conservative belgian types.

This one looked as though it headed in the same direction at first, reddish hued pour and a medium white to tan head. spicy scent, burnt sugar.

The taste was unexpected. at first more inclined to a red ale type...quite sweet, maybe l¡ke a goudeband, but then a strong alcohol feel brought me back to the quad style. very strong bodied and piercing alcohol-roasted malt blend. palatable throughout, but not an easy one to chug down after a few.

Worthwhile, so long as it's only one or two. again, no let-down from ommegang.

Photo of PDXHops
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Updated notes- 2004 vintage 12 oz bottle courtesy of pieper, consumed 6/15/10:
* Appearance largely the same with the addition of some floaties.
* Aromas now include sherry, raisin and a bit of vanilla. Still smells pretty fresh, yet more complex. Heavy dark brown sugar sweetness.
* Flavor profile includes a bit of oxidation, but it's not overpowering or out of place. The tart cherry has turned into more of a cherry pie flavor, and there's a plentiful cola sweetness that dominates to a distracting level, although there's plenty of spice and fruit notes to sort out.
* Mouthfeel still includes a healthy level of fine-bubbled carbonation. The cherry pie morphs into a lingering figgy flavor at the finish. A bit of warming alcohol in the swallow.

Overall impression: Not as complex as I'd hoped for, as the sweetness proves to be a bit much to overcome. Still an easy recommendation, though, as it seems to be holding up well.

2007 vintage, 750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

The cork bursts from the bottle with a loud pop. Even without that hint, carbonation is obviously vigorous, as this beer fluffs up to a 2+ finger head, even with a gentle pour. Oddly enough, the head settles down pretty quickly and minimal lacing is left. The body is murky mahogany.

Smells plenty boozy with loads of sweet maltiness, dark fruit and cherries.

In the mouth, a pleasantly tart cherry bite quickly immediately asserts itself, but quickly shares the spotlight with plentiful sweet dark malt, toffee and molasses. A bit of cloves and some other vague spiciness. It's sweet, bready and yeasty, but the constant cherry tanginess keeps it (barely) from becoming too sticky sweet.

As noted before, this brew has very active carbonation, even after 2 years in the bottle. Mouthfeel's pretty good- doesn't linger as long as I figured it would.

Overall impression: A definite candidate for extended aging, as it seems to just now be hitting it's stride. Good beer.

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

A- Deep reddish-brown color with a very big, off white head.

S- The overall aroma is not very big. I smell alcohol first then caramel and toffee flavors.

T- The alcohol is not as apparent in the smell as it is in the taste. This is very sweet. I can taste the caramel more than I could smell it. I also taste the toffee. When I lick my lips they are sweet and sticky.

M- I enjoyed the mouthfeel. Very good, very balanced.

D- After drinking a whole bottle by myself, and it being 9.8%, I am surprised I would like to have a little more.

I am just starting to find my way through the Belgian forest. I think I found a clearing to sit and enjoy the scenery. I will have to try Ommegangs other offerings.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. Bought at the brewery last August and cellared properly since then.

Pours with a robust tan head that is lively and has great substance. Deep amber color with mahogany tones that has excellent clarity. If you look deep into the beer you can see some active carbonation that is very tiny. The head has great retention, however leaves no lacing.

Aroma smells like black cherry soda to me. In a very good way. One of my favorite flavors growing up. A slight bit of alcohol in the nose and a touch of yeast.

Wow, very smooth flavor. Fairly deep and inviting. Initial fruit, some malty, then some earthy tones. After this a moment of tart cherry then a slightly bitter finish. The finish is not like a fresh hop flavor in IPA's, but deeper and it mingles nicely with the moment of tart. ABV is almost non-detectable in the flavor. As it warms more layers of malt come through and just add to the complexity.

The mouth feel is velvet like and smooth. The carbonation is very subdued.

Goes down very smoothly, especially for a 9.8% quad.

I enjoy this. And will look to age some more. Another nice beer from Ommegang.

Photo of bbeane
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a 16oz pint glass... Dark red/brown in color. Not a very large head... but does leave a nice lacing behind.

S- Smells very fruity on top of the sweet malt/caramel smell

T- Very sweet malt taste... caramel accompanies the fruity overtones. Very little detection of the high abv

M- Smooth with little carbonation... leaves a lingering sweet taste that clings mouth

D- Delicious. Definately would appreciate a few more of these... could definately get me in trouble


Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 5,662 ratings.