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.

5,483 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,483
Reviews: 1,940
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 240
Gots: 789 | 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: 5,483 | Reviews: 1,940 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of irishkyle21
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Covers the glass in lacing. The thick tanned head holds up well. Has a dark brown color with glimmers of ruby.

Smells of caramel, fruits, yeast, spices, sugars and must.

Tastes of caramel malts, dark fruits, a sting of bitterness and some alcohol for warmth. This was one hell of a treat.

Photo of maddogruss
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark amber body with a thick, tan head. Excellent retention and lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet malts were very evident in the smell with some alcoholic undertones.

T: A strong, alcoholic taste with a hint of malts and banana esters in the aftertaste. hints of burnt caramel were evident as well. About halfway through the beer, the taste started to smooth out and became sweeter. Notes on the bottle acknowledged that there was a bit of a kriek taste to it, so I guess that was what was showing up.

M: A nice, smooth and silky mouthfeel. Did a great job to compliment the taste.

D: Definitely pretty drinkable. Alcohol was a bit too evident in the beginning, but after it smoothed out, definitely became a good beer with a nice taste and a complimentary mouthfeel.

Note: I recently tried the cave-aged verison of this beer and it is like a totally different beer. Definitely worth the try if given the opportunity.

Photo of EliteDigger
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear ruby-brownish color with a long lasting, finely bubbled tan head.
S-Smells of wine, cherries, earthy oak, maybe some sweet toffee/caramel.
T-Tart cherry, dark fruits, lemon, caramel, wood, brown sugar, toffee all make an appearance and then disappear quickly under a drying tart, yet semi-sweet, finish.
M-Good carbonation, fairly smooth with a good medium thickness.
D-It's a little strong to drink too many of these, but it's good tasting and pleasant. Easy to have more than one of the smaller bottles.
Overall a tasty beer. I'm not a big fan of belgian beers, but this one is alright. Glad they have smaller bottles of this. Threw a couple down in my cellar to see how they do in a year or two....

Photo of tpd975
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy ruby red in color. Poured into a Unibroue tulip, and a wonderful creamy head developed. Spotty lacing was noted with lots of floaties.

S: The aromas are a bouquet of sweet smelling malts combined with tart cherry, dark fruits and a hint of booze.

T: Nice mix of sweet malts, with notes of tart cherry, plum, raisin and rum. Not my favorite quad but quite interesting nonetheless.

M: Medium bodied and creamy, and pretty smooth.

D: Not my favorite quad, this one is to be shared.

Overall: Glad I tried it, but not my favorite in the class. The cherry notes bring in an added dimension but it's not quite enough to make this on a steller brew.

Photo of berserker256
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As you gaze through the glass with some backlight it looks like a starry sky... with yeast sediment being the stars. Heavy lacing and a dark amber carmel color. Sweet smell with hints of fruit (cherry?) and possibly chocolate. Kind of heavy on Malt and perhaps dirt... but good dirt. Tastes yeasty, malty, and sweet with not much alcohol burn considering the ABV. Flavors described in the aroma are present as well. There are intense carbonation bubbles. It feels like there are thousands of them with each sip. Heavy and ass-kicking beer. A six pack should be streched out over a couple weeks and supplimented by lesser beers. Good Beer. Only about the third quadrupel I've ever had and it's my favorite of the ones I've had.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a generously large bottle, almost 25 ounces of dark opaque brown brew that has scallops of garnet highlights as you move around the glass. A thick fluffy beige head forms and coats everything it touches. Nice lacing and fantastic head retention.

Smells of cherries, chocolates, fine malts and a light grain alcohol twinge that tickles your nose.

The taste is a smooth fruity start. The 2% cherrie ale that the label states is apparent but not overpowering. There is a little chocolate that compliments a tart fruitiness. The malts are very much in the distance, not a roast flavor but just a warm sweet malt taste.

The brew feels good on the mouth. It has a silky creamy mouthfeel and a nice twinge of astringency that leaves you wanting another sip. The only set back is a slightly higher carbonation level that seems to strip the flavors from your pallet. No worries, a few swirls in the glass alleviate that problem.

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

Three Philosophers, Belgian-style blended beer, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY.

As a beer, Three Philosophers is a bit of a strange duck. It is a blend of a typically dark, and high alcohol, Belgian abbey-style quadrupel; so called because of the high grain, and therefore high alcohol content, as opposed to a singel, dubbel, or tripel, combined with a typically tart cherry lambic. Honestly speaking the taste of Three Philosophers is more like 98% quadrupel and 2% lambic, but the cherries unlock a world of flavor.

Three Philosophers pours a deep reddish amber-brown with a moderate tan foamy head that disappears pretty quickly. It has a rich vinous wine-like character with lots of dark fruit, milk chocolate, caramel, and black cherry flavor. This beer is bottle conditioned which means there are live yeast cells in the bottle that both naturally carbonate the beer, and round out the flavors over time. Ommegang cellars their beer before it is shipped out to the store to smooth out any rowdy flavors and generally mellow out the beer. The bottle conditioning combined with the high alcohol content of Three Philosophers makes this beer a good candidate for cellaring one you buy it and I can only imagine the flavors will improve over time. The high quality combined with the very reasonable price of under seven bucks a bottle, easily half of what it's Belgian pedigreed cousins might charge for a similar product, make me want to pick up several bottles to try it out myself, if i can only keep my hands off of them long enough to see how they age.

Three Philosophers, Belgian-style blended beer, 9.8% Alcohol by Volume $6.49 Total Wine & More 536 W 21st St., Norfolk

Photo of marcpal
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml caged corked bottle into Ommegang glass.

A: Poured per the instructions, got a nice amount of sediment in there. Short khaki white head and slight lacing. Light brown and hazy.

S: Malty, not as much alcohol in the aroma as there was in the taste. Sweet malts and fruits, I guess the cherry. As it warmed, aromas came out a ton more.

T: Cherries and maple sap malts right away along with the alcohol. Definite strength in this one's backbone.

M: Yeasty with an alcohol that has clear taste. A little bit on the syrupy side.

D: Definitely meant for sipping, although had no problem getting through the 750. Alcohol is laid back and good warmer.
Not a phenomenal quad but not a bad one either.

Photo of Proteus93
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A bit of a murky tea-brown, a decent and full head, nice retention. Good & sticky, though not the best I've seen for the style.

S: Burnt sugar/caramel, cherry, pepper medley.

T: A somewhat tart cherry-like flavour... though almost closer to a little bitter over sour. It sits right about in between. Alcohol spiciness, and what comes through like the tiniest bit of a chocolatey finish. I haven't been a huge fan of lambics to date, but having a little thrown in there didn't seem to be a bad idea at all.

M: A bit biting on the tip of the tongue.... almost a little aggressive over expressive or assertive. Mellows after a few sips to becomes quite dry and crisp towards the finish.

D: It's a decent drink, though I prefer others over it... it is unique, I'll give it that. I would not turn it down, but might not be one I actively seek out.

Photo of JDV
2.42/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like murky sewage and V8. Reddish brown pour with no head, floating chunks, and overall not appealing. Smells like a heller bock. Sweet sour maltiness but with a hint of alcohol as well. As it warms it smells a bit more of rubbing alcohol. Not a terribly appealing smell either. Taste is really rather dry, muddy and bland actually with alcohol definitely noticeable but i've had stronger alcohol tastes in less alcoholic beers. Cherry isn't really noticeable, but maybe comes through it the tartness rather than big cherry flavor. Reminds me of a cross between beer and wine. Like a carbonated wine almost. This isn't awful, but I don't see it being anybody's dream beer as its story and creation indicates. The best thing about this to me was that it didn't have the awful belgian yeast taste and smell that I really abhor. I actually liked it better than I thought I would, and it grew on me a touch.

Photo of slvrmon82
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is another one of my favorites. It pours a thick dark red with a 2 finger head that stays for a while then clings. Smell is that of dark fruits and malts with the cherry lambic very present. The taste is right there. Sweet not to roasted with a great mixture of the ale and lambic. Mouthfeel is a little heavy but creamy at the end. Drinkability is up there. I love it. A must pickup whenever I can find a big bottle.

Photo of RedBeerHead
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark, heavy, amber- red color. Very light, carbonated head that disappears entirely. Very sweet fruity taste, can't quite nail it down. But it's not excessively sweet. It has a good balance with a yeasty/tart. Really good taste.

Note: I tried to cellar this beer and it didn't turn out to well. I think the ABV is too high. I purchased another and drank the same evening. much better.

Photo of avalon07
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this from my local Total Wine in the pint bottle (do they not make this in the 12 oz. form?). Poured to a goblet. Has a dark brown color with a definite, thick consistency. Had a nice quarter inch head and some lacing that lasted throughout.

Had a sweet, fruity smell, also some yeasts.

The cherries were the main taste component I picked up. Also a bit of malt and Belgian yeast in it as well. A little overly tart for my taste.

Had a zesty mouthfeel due to typically high carbonation rate.

Like most of Ommegang's beers, Three Philosophers is a drinkable beer. Although it's not my favorite example of a quadrupel, it's still a fantastic beer.

Photo of steelcutoats
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I spent the night down at the Headkeeper for my best buddy's birthday and picked up a bottle for a nightcap. I have had this fine Belgium-style quad before and felt it fitting to offer my humble opinion now. The fine people at the Brewery Ommegang have really out done themselves with The Three Philosophers. I truly believe that their beers are very much in sync with their Belgium counterparts.

The Three Philosophers poured a deep rusty reddish color, wish a creamy off white head that quickly dissipated. There was no lacing on the inside of the crystal snifter, which has been the medium that I sample all of my beers in. The smell was sweet with hints of sour cherries and yeast. The taste was suburb both hoppy and fruity with a sour finish. This beer is a wonderful American take on a traditional Belgium quadruple. I would recommend it to anyone.

Photo of Junnila
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep burgandy color with a nice head that is well retained. Slight hints of cherry lambic, mint, caramel, and sweet sugars smell. Complex flavors of sweetness, sourness, bitterness, dryness, and herbal accents. Alcohol is hidden in the array of flavors and smells but is evident in it's drinkability. Overall a fine quadrupel from an outstanding brewery.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Three Philosophers

A: Pours a walnut brown with a supple tan head. Light lacing throughout the beer.
A: Cherries & malt are most prominent, with yeast and other dark fruits.
T: Great malt, cherries, and perhaps caramel and bread.
M: Great character, lighter than I'm used to for the style and excellent carbonation.
D: Very Nice. Easy to drink with a little kick on the back of the throat.

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

A: Dark, slightly murky brownish in color. Beautiful big head that lasted for over three minutes. (Absolutely worth the wait!!)

S: Tangy. Raisiny. Soury. Hops. Malts. Alcoholy. Slight vanilla.

T: Crisp and hoppy. Sweet and light. Malts and sugar. Vanilla and roasted nuts w/ vanilla.

M: Again, crisp and light. Good carbonation.

D: Crisp, clean and light. For me a good starter beer, but maybe not a good finisher beer for the night

Photo of Hoagie1973
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful dark ruby color with a huge thick foamy cream colored head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Malty aroma with fruit, spicy clove, and ale yeast.

This is my first quad, and when I read the label I was expecting a strong lambic-cherry undercurrent, but it's very subtle and well blended. Flavor is big and complex with a prominant yeasty characteristic; malty with a slightly bitter spice kick at the end, which seems to increase slightly as you go. High ABV is well masked.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a warm alcohol finish.

This is the brandy of beers.

Photo of bilyboy65
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was cellared for 2 years. Was poored from the 750ml bottle from 2006 into a standard pint glass.

A: There was a thick creamy light brownish head that left a thick clear residue on the glass as it faded. The beer was a very dark red-brown. Even with the dark color of the beer seeing through the glass is no problem.

S: From the first poor and the froth of the head released a powerful cherry smell. The smell of the malts and yeasts used are not over powered by the cherries, but heightened.

T: The years were good to this beer as the flavors seemed to come together. The cherries seem to be of the dark variety. They mix well with a sweet, almost sugary, and a spicy yeast. The malts tend to give it a little sour backbone and keep it from being to fruity.

M: Feels very think on the tongue, but the carbonation keeps it from being flat and boring. There is enough carbonation to make it seem like the cherries are dancing in your mouth.

D: Very easy to drink. The flavors have balanced out well over the years. Smooth on the tongue and throat.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I might have served it a bit colder than recommended, so the cherry taste might not have been as strong as others. The beer is beautiful, poors with a large off-white head that disappears. Cloudy color with tiny particles bubbling around, color is somewhere between amber and red. Nose is moderatly citrus-hoppy with light yeast undertones (dough). Can also smell elements of Cherry/Casis, port wine and cinnamon. Taste starts lightly bitter with elements of fruit and over the long duration finishes moderatly sweet. Wait even longer and there is a slight nutty aftertaste on the rear end. Texture is somewhere between dry and creamy (I know that sounds wierd, but it is true). Carbonation is lively on this light to medium-bodied beer. Alcoholic notes on the finish. Very refreshing, quite good!

Photo of seaoflament
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer in this bottle was brewed in 2005.

A crimson liquid pours into my Chimay goblet. About a quarter inch of foam quickly settles to a ring with some activity in the center.

A wonderful combination of tart cherries and bread are the first notes I can detect. Then I get the spicy yeast with dark fruits. Clove, a bit of cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, and a touch of alcohol is my attempt to make my description a little more detailed.

The taste is very similar to the nose of this beer. Cherries soaked in alcohol, heavy bread, spices, and dark fruits. As I continue sipping this beer it reminds me of the strawberry-walnut bread I make sometimes (it's good by the way).

Heavily carbonated and a little sharp on the tongue. There is also a touch of alcohol that hangs around for a while in the back of the throat. After the beer warms up a bit the mouthfeel is a little better but I still think it's a tad over-carbonated. Actually, now that the beer is at room temp. the mouthfeel has improved.

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

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Following the bottle suggested pour, I poured softly so as to not disturb the yeast (at least not too much). Still I was able to produce an off white head nearly two inches in height on top of the hazy, brownish red liquid. It takes a while for the head to fade to a solid cover which leaves some lacing.

Smell: Rich malt aromas, still somewhat yeasty as well, bready, with cherries, (black cherries). Also comes off a bit boozy.

Taste: Big and malty; a touch yeasty/bready and a bit sweet. The blend of a belgian style ale and a cherry lambic (thinking Sam Adams here, yech) had me dreading what this beer might be, but it turned out great. The cherry-ness does not overpower.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with what seems like a natural low carbonation. A clean (low aftertaste) finish. The alcohol burn comes through on this one.

Drinkability: A good beer, but a sipper. I do not know if I could get through a 750 ml bottle due to the alcohol (nearly 10%!). This bottle is nice on a cold, snowy night. However the price (about $13 bucks for a 4 pack here) is such that I don't know when I will purchase it again.

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

Three Philosophers pours a dark, opaque, plumish amber. The smell is really pleasant and uniquely aromatic of malts and cherries. Taste wise, this is very different, offering a nice mellow cherry flavor with absolutely no bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium thick, moderately carbonated, and very smooth. This drinks suprisingly easy for the alcohol, but it does pack a good punch.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mahar's. 1/2 pint

A: Pours a wonderful red color with a finger of head in a 1/2 pint glass. Lacing from the top to the bottom.

S: Cherries. Honey and other assorted sweetness. Some yeast smell as well. Very complex and very nice.

T: I have had this from the bottle many times over the years and this tasted like an aged bottle. All the complexity came out and drank very nicely.

M: Again very smooth. I was sad when I was done with this beer. Wonderful feel on the mouth without being too thick or to thin. Just about perfect.

D: In the bottle the drinkability is probably a 4 but on tap this was amazing. This is actually better than quite a few Belgian quads I have tasted. Good job Ommegang/Duvel.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 750ml bottle-poured into my 25cl Chimay chalice.

A- Body is a very hazy-almost opaque medium reddish brown hue. Pours with a relativly thin slightly off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a fine white collar around the glass. Minimal lacing is left behind.

S- Nose is strong of cherries, alcohol, chocolate, caramel, and a spicy Belgian yeast strain.

T- Upfront is sour cherries with sweet caramel malt backbone. Spicy Belgian yeast and alcohol emerge for the finish and seem to make the initial flavor disappear. All of these components linger equally-which is the highlight of the flavor. The intricate complexity of all these characters that don't usually mix together plus the addition of sweet chocolate. It's good and it really makes you think.

M- Carbonation is low and mouthfeel is mostly smooth and yeasty with hints of an alcohol slickness/burn.

D- This is a very interesting and complex brew that I do enjoy-but the blatant booziness of it all keeps the drinkability above average-but less than "good." This is my 5th quad and it falls in the middle of the 5 for me. I love Ommegang and their brews and through this isn't my favorite quad I will certainly have it again.

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
93 out of 100 based on 5,483 ratings.