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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)

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5,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,119
Reviews: 1,903
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 206
Gots: 616 | FT: 15
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,119 | Reviews: 1,903 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of quasimoto
3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First off, The color of the beer was a semi dense copper. Also one of my favorite things is to see yeast sediment floating around in the bottom of he bottle. To me that is the sign of where the true flavor and craftmanship comes from. The smell of yeast ( I think it was yeast, what ever it was, it was pretty pungent. I know it wasnt hops though) hit my senses as soon as I started to take a sip. Followed by a slight ever-so taste of caramel, and then cedar. I dont really know how to describe it other than cedar. Hops are apparent in the taste, but not overwhelming. I actually enjoyed it. The after taste wasnt the best but while I'm drinking it, It's one of the closet things to a home brew. Delicious.

quasimoto, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of Wonka
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed 2004

Appearance – Clear ruby with a sturdy, white frothy head and lacing thick enough to use on a VS runway

Smell – fig, plum, malt, cherry, slight alcohol

Taste – herbal, malt, plum, cherry wood, slight alcohol

Mouthfeel – Blessed smoothness; great body; bubbles rush in and cut at the tongue with light crispness early to middle and there’s a nice smooth finish

Drinkability – Silky; aftertaste is dry and crisp with sweetness layering the tongue and lingering

I’d love to have this after a few years of shelving. High props to Ommengang. Cooperstown has another Hall of Famer here.

Wonka, Jan 16, 2005
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 bottle

Very good looking beer. Excellent head. Large and persistant. Carbonation just keeps replenishing. Very intense bright mahogany color. Would give it a 5 except there is some chunks floating around even after a week in the fridge and a very gentle pour. Leaves a nice lacing.

Very exciting nose. Get some deep dark belgian beer notes, special B? dark candi sugar? Very nice. Definately sense the cherry too...sour, fruity cherry goodness...and maybe even a touch of the funk.

Very excellent taste. Very very big and complex. 'Like a steam locomotive, rollin' down the track...' FULL FUCKING STEAM. Very nice dark candi sugar caramel notes in the front tapering off to a very tart cherry finish leaving alcohol on your breath. Get a hint of the funk in the finish too. Finishes quite clean with a bit of tart atringency. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is quite thin for a beer of such caliber but this makes it all the more drinkable.

For a beer of this caliber and complexity, 5 in drinkability is warranted I do believe. Very smooth and easy to drink. Wish I had another.

cerevisiaephilus, Jan 16, 2005
Photo of Bones54
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt brown ale, with a thick cream colored head that quickly dissipates but leaves a nice thin covering. Lacing is minimal, and there is a considerable amount of carbonation.
The smell that seemed to pierce through the others was the cherry. I must also say this about the taste of the beer. My first to try from this style, so I did not know exactly what to expect. Overall this is a good brew, and I would definately give it a try again.

Bones54, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel chalice glass, served at 50F. Bottle I've been saving about a year.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown, hazy, with slightly offshite head.

Aroma: Chocolate, candi-sugarish abbey-like aroma, highly fruity (raisins, ripe apples), with a certain iron-like scent.

Flavor: Malty sweet, almond nutty flavors, big esters (raisins, plums?). Alcohol is noticible, lending a pleasant warming as well as additional spicy flavors. Slighly oxidized. Lambic tartness comes through at the end and lingers around for a long time. Becomes noticibly port-like in the end.

Body: Huge body, very thick.

Very complex beer, with lots going on. I saved this bottle about a year, but the only difference I can taste is a better finish, not quite so sweet as a young bottle. I'd like to try one about 4 or 5 years out, but don't know if I can save a bottle of this excellent beer that long.

allengarvin, Jan 08, 2005
Photo of BeerManDan
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color when poured was a sort of a hazy Root Beer Brown with a reddish hue. Not much on the foam, but some lace on the sides on the glass. The smell of spices filled the nose. The taste was of a creamy spicey nature on the palate with a bitter/sourness to the finish. Overall, a pleasant, but not an overpowering Belgium Style Ale. Better tasting, the warmer it got.

BeerManDan, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of tar
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark almost chocolate colored brown, with some red highlights. An off-white head which includes some large bubbles caps the beer and lingers for some time. As expected, a strong aroma of cherries issues forth from the glass--this is nice, but the combination of cherries with some light alcohol notes reminds me a bit of cough medicine. Smooth with some pleasant sweetness and good fruity flavors (cherries, plums and others which I can't pin down). The cherry which was so overpowering in the aroma is much more subdued in making itself known in flavor. As the beer warms, a bit of alcohol taste comes forward, although not excessive to the point of detracting from the broader, nicely complex flavor. Overall this is a very nice beer--while I probably would not want much more than a glass per session it is certainly a beer I would look forward to having again.

tar, Jan 03, 2005
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown, raisiny in color with a minimal off-white head. The aroma is of dark fruits, raisins, and dates, with a boozey, cherry smell. The flavor is malty and full of the dark fruits of raisins and dates and also a nice cherry flavor in the back. A very solid and tasty beer. I could drink this one over and over again if only they would come back to my hood. Top notch.

BeerBuilder, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: uniform dark brown - no "floaties" - topped by a bubbly vanilla-colored head that fizzled down to a small cap and modest ring. Some streaky lacing.
Nose: Hearty malt aroma loaded with caramel, raisin and plum notes. Slightly sour scent skirted the edge of olfactory perception, probably a result of the cherry lambic. It seems that no effort was made to conceal the alcohol.
Taste: complex, with a nice mix of malty, sugary sweetness and light tartness. Caramel really stands out initially, as does the sweetness of raisins and plums. Alcohol-soaked cherry flavor hits the back of the palate with the thinly disguised alcohol coming off as a touch raw.
Feel: lighter than expected, airy and finishes drily.
Overall, Three Philosophers was an interesting beer, an intriguing blend of two styles. Complex and with a nice feel, the only downside I had with it was the overriding alcohol aroma and taste. Nevertheless, worth picking up a bottle if you see it somewhere.

Boilermaker88, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of nortmand
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep red-brown, with a quickly disappearing head. Good clarity.
Sweet, fruity smell, with a pleasant alcohol-clove aroma.
A virtual cacophany of flavors, sweet on the front of the tongue, with a lingering tartness on the sides and back. Finishes full and grainy, with an alcohol kicker.
Silky smooth, but a little overcarbonated.
Good beer, but to be consumed in small quantities.

nortmand, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of crookedhalo
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003. Pours a turbid chestnut color with some red highlights from the kriek infusion. Even the head is beige with a little bit of pink hue to it. Aromas of sweet malt, sun-dried cherry, and fusel alcohols. A year's aging fares this beer nicely. A little sweet; and too much cherry for my liking, but a solid quad nonetheless. Nicely carbonated, giving a creamy mouthfeel. A slight tartness in the finish keeps it drinkable, otherwise it might just be too sweet. The last glass poured seemed to have a bit more esteriness to it.

crookedhalo, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of alexgash
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Popped off the cap and immediately smelled that Ommegang smell. Pours a dark, russet brown. Light doesn't penetrate. Head is big and creamy and tan with a hint of red. Smellwise...I'm picking up dark cherries, oak, leather, alcohol, and yeast. Not overly aromatic, but nice and vinous. Dark, rummy fruits kick off the palate. Cherries, raisins, maybe plums in there. Slightly sweet, but slightly tart. Alcohol hits mid-palate, along with some leather, and a little oak. Bitterness backs its way in, but its a very herbal, tangy, and almost medicinal bitterness. Yeast is notieceable throughout. The finish has a tart apple taste to it. Warming. Full-bodied, but with a rather fluffy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little on the "too much" side. Overall, a decent beer, but not my favorite Ommegang product.

alexgash, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of Winter
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottling.

Pours a cloudy dark pomegranate and brown. Thin brown head. Micro-bubbles cling to the side of my goblet and rise up the side. Aroma consists of sour cherries, malt, alcohol, fermented grapes, caramel and a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel has a nice full body to it. The taste is very complex. Starts of very malty and rich. The cherry lambic that was added is blended very nice. I was expecting more of a cherry flavor and this does not over-power at all. They're married very nicely. Some caramel and oak appear midway. Alcohol is apparent in the finish.

This is definitely one to sip and savor. The taste itself was okay, but something was lacking to really set it apart. Not sure if this is better by itself or paired with food. I think the correct food match-up would bring out even more of the flavor nuances that this beer might have. I enjoyed it, yet I wasn't "blown-away" either.

Winter, Nov 28, 2004
Photo of IceAce
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Caged and corked 750 ml bottle of the 2004 edition. Stopper removal provided much fanfare. Pours with enthusiastic carbonation leaving a mahogany / red body and 2+ fingers of rocky tan dense foam

Aroma: Highly acidic, alcoholic, and fruity nose. Notes of cherry, raisin, and spices detected

Taste: Intense spiciness grips the tongue while the cheeks are scrubbed by ample (almost prickly) CO². Big malt dominates the mid-taste while the finish lingers with cherries and spices

Mouthfeel: This is one huge beer with a mouthfeel to match. Huge malt coats the mouth while abundant CO² lends balance and smoothness. There is so much going on that each sip is an adventure

Drinkability: Packing a big punch means consumption in quantity is limited...but what a wonderful adventure!

IceAce, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2003

Heady smells of kirsch and cherries stewed beneath a layer of dead leaves. Alcohol. Chocolate covered cherries and wheaty yeast on the palate; maybe a touch of iron. Thin raspberries; the lambic component is reminiscent of Rose de Gambrinus in that respect. Old dryer lint.

The integration of kriek and quad is strange to say the least and one does not accentuate the other. Though challenging, this beer still needs some time to calm down. The parts might ultimately each be greater than the whole.

Relax, relax.

P.S. I paired this with plain bittersweet chocolate wedges and it turned into ten times the beer it was on its own. The cocoa balances the quadruple part of the beer, the sugar and fat cancels out the alcohol, and the soft, luscious kriek element shines on through as well as an interesting Westy-inspired grape bubblegum finish. As a pairing, the Three Philosophers would merit at least a 4-point score, but it is indeed weak on its own.

ngandhi, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of mntlover
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy dark brown with big fluffy tan head lots of good lacing , a great looking beer. Aroma is little subdued malt with dark fruits raisins plums some black cherries with spice present. Taste is nice malt with fruity flavors raisins plums ect very solid tasting beer. Finishes with light spice and hops present sweet and lightly bitter plus a little sour. Mouthfeel is very solid a big beer their is know doubt. Drinkability is good a nice little quadrupel to say the least. Again thanks goes to merlin48 for the sample and the good times had tasting.

mntlover, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of dgallina
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown with bronze highlights. Moderate head which leaves a good film of lace on top and lots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Nose is lightly toasted malts with strong candied fruits, subdued sour cherries, and alcohol spice. The taste starts with light toasted malts, develops slight lambic and cherry sourness, turns into sweet candied fruits and alcohol spice, and finishes with nice drying hops and very long-lasting sour kriek finish. Nice medium body with good creamy feel and carbonation. Very tasty and relatively easy to drink. Superbly complex and compelling.

dgallina, Nov 13, 2004
Photo of markman
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewery Ommegang Three Philosophers (750ml, 2004):

A subtle hoppy grainy slightly sweet aroma precedes a big tan head that just sustains on a deep garnet body…beautiful. Wow, chocolate, rich malt, and black cherry fill the palate…and no hiding the 9.8% ABV. There is a distinctive “Ommegang taste” to this that I can’t put my finger on…some kind of a spicy yeasty quality that is unique to Ommegang. Textbook lacing…very nice. Lip-smacking good and I suspect my cellar will always have two or three of these at the ready. And drop dead drinkability for such a big beer. I can only imagine what a few years of sleep might do.


markman, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of bultrey
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one hell of a beer... it pours a murky brown with a nice, foamy head that sticks around for the long haul. When I smell this beer, it almost seems like it's gone bad...in a good way, because there is alot of sour aroma, like sour cherries and vinegar, mingling with the faint sweetness of the malt.
The taste, however is a different story. This is an incredibly complex beer. There is such a great balance struck here between the kriek and the quadruple... The overwhelming taste, to me, is of chocolate-covered cherries, but without any of the cloying sweetness. But then there is a lip-smacking tanginess and relatively dry finish, which does it's best to push aside the malt monster. But then the malt comes back, and some of the cherry, and the two have a little skirmish in your mouth for a while. There is also a bit of that funky barnyard characteristic.
And then the beer nears room temperature, and you ain't seen nothing yet.
Oh yeah, be forewarned... there are plenty of floaty yeasties in this puppy, so watch that last pour...
What a versatile beer. Slightly chilled, I love it with Old Amsterdam aged gouda cheese. When it warms up, it can stand up to some nice dark chocolate, or I suspect, even a nice cigar.

bultrey, Nov 02, 2004
Photo of vitesse
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

poured from 750 mL brown bottle.
label says bottled in 2003, so this beer is around a year to a year-and-a-half old.

pours a nice reddish/brown color with a HUGE head. lots of carbonation in this one. smells of sugar, cherries and spicey booze.
the beer was way way harsh on the palate. very astringent and medicinal taste hits you right off the bat. you can taste a slight cherry taste (from the lindemans kriek blended in) as well as regular ommegang ale, which is nice, but the alcohol isn't hidden at all and the significant malt and yeast can't cover up the boozey flavors.
the label says it's ready for immediate consumption without aging, but i don't agree. this one definitely wasn't ready for drinking. i was disappointed, especially considering how much i love ommegang, hennepin and rare vos.

vitesse, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of claytri
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured a cloudy amber that produced a tan lace. The aroma was of sour malt and alcohol with a little tamin in the tail end. The taste was mainly of malt with an undercurrent of strong fruit it finished with a strong alcohol bite. The feel was exceptionally creamy. a very drinkible beer.

claytri, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

A pillowy and creamy off white head that settles after a few moments leading to some very thin lacing that holds throughout the glass. A burgundy, light brown in color with a reddish tint.

This quadruple has a lot going on in terms of both aroma and flavor. Dark chocolate and toffee tones along with some fruit: cherry, black raspberry, apple, and even some orange aromas.

I've had this ale a handful of times now and I was very surprised with how chocolatey and sweet this one was. A chewy maltiness in addition to a truffle-like flavor begins the sip. This is joined by a mild tartness filled with apple, orange, and cherry flavors. Virtually no bitterness, and a dark chocolate aftertaste.

A very mellow version, that encompasses the palate and tastebuds without being obtrusive. Very impressive given the array of flavors.

At 9.8% abv, and all that is going on in terms of flavors, this quadruple is like drinking a four course meal. Not too heavy, but it would be tough to have more than a few glasses. Nonetheless, a gem and something to seek out.

NEhophead, Oct 27, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Label : Top fermented. Bottle Conditioned. Ale with Cherry Lambic added. Caged & corked 750 mL. Wrestled the cork out with my shirt to cushion the blow. Nice labeling.

Dark hazy brown yet slightly pellucid with glints of light getting thru under an impressive huge head that managed to rise a ½” in a wide mouthed Weyerbacher goblet, that settles to a wafer thin antique white head tight head.

Deep malts and candied fruit esters.

First Swigs: Heavy grainy malt with a dry finish. Some dark fruit notes of black cherries and over ripe bananas. Cherries peaked out a tiny bit in the end of the pour.A bit of dark bread doughy almost pumpernickel. As this warms, the awl-kee-hawl heat is detectable in the finish.

Steady easy soft foamy cushiony feel. This is a conundrum of a beer, as the enjoyable offering is compromised by the high ABV and uniqueness. A bit filling to be considered drinkable, but a “must try” for beer lovers.

Last Swigs: Grainy almost oatmeal cereal malts with a bone dry, sugary sweet finish. Missed the cherries until warmed. Slightly one dimensional light flavored Quad. Expected more. Maybe OMMEGANG is trying too hard on this one. I prefer Weyerbacher’s Quad to this one any day. We’ll see if this 2004 will improve with age. The last time I had this was at the Flying Pig in Devon and my memory was more favorable of it. Quad is a rare style that few breweries have the “scrum” to attempt. OMMEGANG has “scrum.” Now to find out what Three Philosophers was this named after?

Beer is good. Happy Quad beering.

blitheringidiot, Oct 24, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at 2004 Extreme Beer Fest but the day was a blur so this is a much better chance to review the beer.Very nice chestnut color. Excellent head-retains it all the way down too which is nice. Aroma of malt,yeast. Slight sourness to it. doesnt really say fruit or cherries-byproduct of the yeast? Somewhat vinuous and oakey. Malty and wine like flavors upfront. Slight tartness-as it warms this increases. A great mix of flavors-raisens,currants,cherries-hints of vanilla and oak. Nice full body. 9.8% ????-no way!!! You could certainly never tell here. Quite an amazing beer. One bottle is a meal in itself. Go for it.

lackenhauser, Oct 23, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky dark amber/red color with a creamy tan head.
Smells of malt, caramel, chocolate and tart red fruit.
Wow! Great complex flavor. Sweet earthy malt, brown sugar, caramel, chocolate covered cherries and an earthy tart yeast flavor.
Although the alcohol was present it was integrated very well. A lot more flavor than the smell indicated.
Light bodied with a thin, yet full mouthfeel. Tangy carbonation.
For such a light feeling beer, this sure came across as being quite rich. Good melding of the Quadruple/lambic styles. I was still thinking about the deep flavors of this one the next day! Excellent.

rkhaze, Oct 23, 2004
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 5,119 ratings.