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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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5,398 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,398
Reviews: 1,932
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 233
Gots: 737 | 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:  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: 5,398 | Reviews: 1,932 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cabsandking
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

cabsandking, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Rudgers73, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of jhollick
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2005 Edition

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.

jhollick, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of phisig137
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

phisig137, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of malcontent
3.1/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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 I’ll take Jason’s 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, I’m still just not wild about this beer.

Has a nice bubbly texture but then coats the mouth with some unwelcome astringency. That aside, it’s not nearly as heavy a brew as I’d expected & thus, if it’s to your taste, makes for a pretty drinkable beverage.

malcontent, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of Osiris9588
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Osiris9588, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of Damian
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Damian, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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.

kimcgolf, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of becktone
3.43/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

becktone, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of Doomcifer
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very rich, dark brown with ruby hues to it. about a half-inch head that dissipated quickly into a tiny head that was formed just around the circumfrence of the galss, leaving behind very little lacing. Smells of ripe, dark fruits, cherries, figs, sweet, and some alcohol. Taste is also of very ripe dark fruits, figs, prunes, raisins, cherry flavors, very noticeable alcohol burn in the finish. This beer could mask the alcohol better but I guess with a beer like this, aging it would be a wise move to mellow it out. Mouthfeel is full and airy, silky, with a good amount of carbonation. I've had better quads but they are usually from Belgium. This Three Philosophers is probably the best quad coming from the USA, or at least from what I have had. Cheers.

Doomcifer, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of nicefix
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I noticed a good amount of setiment in the bottom of the bottle. Poured into a brandy snifter (that's what I drink my Belgians with since I don't have a chalice). Dark brown with a big off white head with good size bubbles. Nice lace but not a lot of retension.

From what I can remember it smells and tastes similar to the Hennepin but stronger in flavor and alcohol. I smell fruits, maybe prunes, apples, some malt. Taste is the same with a finish of alcohol and some hops. Pretty drinkable. Another good brew from Ommegang.

nicefix, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2005 bottle served chilled to room temperature in a Troegenator seidel.

A: The ale has a thick luxurious head that does not lace. It is a hazy light brown color with abundant sediment.

S: Smell is malty-cherry mix, with the cherry being more of a sour (liefmans) than sweet (lindemans).

T: The taste is cherry and chewy malts. The malts are dominant but give way to a certain heat from hops. The malt finish is long and the formidble alcohol is well hidden. Maybe its just me, but the malts have a muscat grape and chocolate finish.

M: The depth of the quad and the cherry hints makes this a beer that thoroughly confuses the tastebuds.

D: Even at 9.8%, this is a strong drinkable ale.

akorsak, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of BlackAngus
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, ruby color, fast-fading head, but lots of champagne-like carbonation.

Dark fruit, alcohol, maltiness in the aroma.

Sour lambic flavor, cherries, big maltiness, fruitiness, definite flavor of alcohol, some chocolately notes.

Mouthfeel is thick, heavy bodied, just the right level of carbonation. Nice alcohol presence.

Highly drinkable...if it were available in my area, I'd always have some on hand.

BlackAngus, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of egajdzis
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004... Poured a hazy brownish red color with a thin tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of tart cherry and caramel malts, spices, and light alcohol. Taste of pepper, caramel, some cocoa, cherries and some yeast as well. Reminds me of a candy apple.

egajdzis, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of greebsnarf
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Three Philosophers (2004), on tap at the Belgian Room in NYC for an Ommegang event. The appearance was stunning: a rich dark red color, almost syrupy, and a large but quickly fading head. It looked incredible in a large wine glass. That said, I found the aroma a little disappointing. It smelled primarily malty and sweet, but, I thought, deserved to be much more pronounced.

When it came to drinking it, though, this beer did not disappoint at all. Moderately thick and a little bubbly, it was a real pleasure to sip, and the taste was extremely complex; with each sip I noticed another flavor. Malty and sweet are followed by a slight yeasty taste and sour cherries, with a number of other flavors, spicy and roasted, that I couldn't quite pick out. It tasted quite peaty and smokey throughout--reminding me of Scotch whisky. The alcohol was well masked at first but became increasingly (and, I thought, surprisingly) pronounced as the beer warmed.

Between the thickness and the strength and complexity of flavor, this really is best enjoyed slowly, in small amounts, and without food; as much as I enjoyed it, I could only have one small glass in an evening. But I'll happily have that one glass any opportunity I get.

greebsnarf, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of BabaJohn
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a nice, dark red wine with some brown tints. Head fades fast, in its place comes some consistent and evenly placed streams of carbonation. Smells sour and malty, with cherry and caramel aromas. A delicious clean taste up front, very sweet and wine-like, cherries, grapes, bitter greens. Nice alcohol warmth follows. The carbonation is well integrated. Some slightly roasted, smoky flavors as well, predominantly in the aftertaste. Slightly dry all in all, but this trait is presented well. Goes straight to my head; drink slowly. Mmm…

BabaJohn, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2003 Vintage.

Pours a beautiful bubbly dark rust cherry. Bubbly bubbles, very bubbly, huge big pretty bubbles visible miles away from the class. It's all topped off by a rocky retentive head.

Smells sweet, sour, and cidery. A little too strong, maybe--I can only imagine how intense a fresh bottle's odor would be!

Tastes great. Complexity grows as it warms. At first you're overwhelmed with the two styles that are blended, you get the sharp tart cherries and sour yeast of the lambic and then the spicy burn of a quad. The stages become more pronounced as your pallete adjusts. It still starts out tart, but the chewy lambic yeast comes more into play. Then it shoots into a sweet and spicy quadrupel that tastes like a very strong ommegang--bitter start, very sweet and fruity middle, and then a bitter end. It all ends on a nice alcohol burn.

This tastes a bit more alcoholic than it is, and that hampers drinkabliity a little bit, but it's well worth it otherwise.

mynie, Aug 23, 2006
Photo of ChillMike
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep and dark plumish amber color, with a medium sized light brown head, that doesn't seem to leave much lacing. Smells of sweet malts, chocolate, and cherries, a very pleasant smell that begs to be drank. A waterfall of flavors hits the palette upon first taste. I first get plenty of chocolate flavor, some malty flavors, then sugar cane, followed by the slightly sour cherry lambic flavor to finish it off. Leaves a very pleasant aftertaste. Quite enjoyed this one, however, it is about 2 years old, I wonder how it tasted upon fresh brewing.

ChillMike, Aug 19, 2006
Photo of beerogre
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As a general rule, when I visit the beer store after finishing work on Friday and make my selections for the weekend, I like to look for something new. Something a little bit different, something of an experiment. After sampling this beer for the second time (the first was several weeks ago) I have already decided that this will definitely be one of next Friday's purchases and thus, once again, one of next weekend's highlights.

It's hard to put into words how impressed I am with Brewery Ommegang's products and drinking this beer once more only serves to reinforce how highly I rate them.

I've been trying quite a lot of Belgian beers in the last few months and as great of a time as I've had with that (and it has been wonderful) I really don't think I've enjoyed any of them more than the pleasure I derive from the Ommegang beers.

Comparing this beer to other Quadrupels, I've had St. Bernardus Abt 12 many times, Trappistes Rochefort 10 several times recently, and Avery's The Reverend (read my other reviews to see how highly I rate Avery) and to be honest I'm reaching for the shelf with the Ommegang.

It reminds me of when I used to go to the horse races back in England. Sometimes a famous owner like the Aga Khan IV would have horses at the event and you always knew they were going to be class horses. Well, for me, I always know it's going to be a class beer when it says Ommegang on the label.

Ommegang beers: First past the post.

beerogre, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of dancinwillie
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle marked 2005 into a pint glass.

Giant head on this one, had to top off with another pour, due to huge head. The result is a creamy looking, off white head that rises above the glass, much like a root beer float. The brew itself is an inviting shade of red that comes as close to black as it possibly could.

Aroma is dominated by cherries, with the yeast coming through minimally.

The taste is very sweet upfront. A complex mixture of sour cherries, yeast, and a solid malt backbone. Taste a little chocolate on the back end. Cherry leads the flavor, but not overwhelming at all. This is a very complex beer. Very delicious too. Picking up what may be vanilla as well. My, this is good!

Mouthfeel is wonderful. Thick without being overbearing, and nowhere near thin. Smooth, and refreshing, and left me wanting more.

Overall, I would say for the price, and the quality of Three Philosophers, this is a HIGHLY drinkable quad. Definately going to be putting it into my regular rotation.

dancinwillie, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of JBStith
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ommegang Three Philosophers. I am enjoying Belgian styles the more I get inot them.

A: Pours a nice deep ruby brown. A bit hazy with a thick tan head that disapates fairly quickly.

S: Great malt aromas with a hint of sweetness and black cherries. Little to no hop araoma. I almost got a nose full of beer on this one it smelled so good.

T: Similar to smell. Traditional yeast sourness followed by sweet and earthy malts. Darks fruits are noticable and finished with subtly warm alcohol.

M&D: Medium mouthfeel and body. Nice balance between sweet, sour, and alcohol. I could have more than one or two if the high abv didn't knock me down so quickly.

I will definitely have this beer again. My girfriend even liked it.

JBStith, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of atozymurgy
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As great as this beer is, it's even better with the right food pairing...

Pours with a huge, long-lasting head, even with a slow careful pour. The color is deep, rich brown, almost black, but with ruby highlights. Very enticing.

The aroma is thick, with lots of malt, noticeable cherries, and hints of bitter roastiness, slight sourness, and a slight whiff of chocolate.

The taste is almost beyond description. One of the most complex beers around. It starts sweet and malty, but this is quickly balanced by roasty bitterness and a touch of sourness. The cherry flavor perfectly balances the richness of this beer, without being overwhelming. The slight notes of chocolate also add roast and bitterness, but it's different here and complements the cherries beautifully.

This beer really fills the mouth, though it's surprisingly light given how big it is. It goes down very easily, especially with the help of the sourness. Not exactly refreshing, but I could easily drink more than one (if I'm not standing).

Now to the food. This might not work so well with most entrees, but there are few better dessert beers around, IMO. With a dark chocolate cake, a cherry cheesecake, or other rich dessert this beer shines. But to my surprise, it goes nicely with lighter desserts too. For this tasting, I had it with a fresh raspberry and blueberry tart with B&J's vanilla ice cream and some excellent chocolate cookies. Absolutely perfect - the cherries and the sourness meld with the berries and the richness matches up well with the ice cream. Try this beer with dessert and you won't be disappointed.

atozymurgy, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of bonbright7
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had read about this ale in a traveler's memoirs of visiting the fabled Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY. The traveler suggested that this ale was an exceptional find after finding it in storage in a cave.

I tried this after finding it in a very warm Shoreline store today. I tried the dark quadrupel and it looked like any dark Belgian ale.
It poured well into an oatmeal head and it tasted like the dark ale of Westmalle with a slight bite to it.

It was very good for the length of the bottle, but I wondered if it would be better in colder weather.

bonbright7, Jul 29, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this quad pours a dark ruby red color, with thick medium tan foamy head, moderate amounts of swift carbonation are present

S - as anticipated, strong aromas of cherries are big and up front, smells like maraschinoed cherries as opposed to fresh ones, there is also a strong alcohol aroma present

T - the cherry flavor persists of course, but its kind of dulled by the thicker nearly chewy maltiness of it, almost bready

M&D - kind of strong, but easy down, the girls thought it was a bit strong, but i enjoyed it, a little too thick, but very tasty, i prefer the cherries in NGWBR, but MUCH better the SA Cherry Wheat

sinstaineddemon, Jul 28, 2006
Photo of thelagerheads
3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I fixed up a yeoman's feast while Trüb strained to open the vintage Three Philosophers with his mustachio heavily persperating into the glory hole of nectar. Afterall, one should never bloody his apron with the tumescence of ghoulish beers while his dick-butler(euphemism for personal home-plebe) lurks near! Well, this wasn't as ghastly as it was NOT BEER. It was undercarbonated BAMPAGNE. A gassy little beer in a big time bottle. It uncorked, it bit and it sang like bubbly. Not even the dancing porkchops could make it beer. The peppers of yellow, red and green cajoled it to be but it could not. I even asked it politely to salutate with a ham-fisted beer 'ello but it said no sir. Get your violin and bree cheese out because the French waiter and weird sounding police cars are going to buzz by your summertime window with this one. Rap tap table tap.

thelagerheads, Jul 27, 2006
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
93 out of 100 based on 5,398 ratings.