Three Philosophers
Brewery Ommegang

Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
From:
Brewery Ommegang
 
New York, United States
Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #42
ABV:
9.7%
Score:
92
Ranked #4,286
Avg:
4.15 | pDev: 11.33%
Reviews:
2,222
Ratings:
4,616
Status:
Active
Rated:
Jan 22, 2023
Added:
Apr 23, 2002
Wants:
  426
Gots:
  1,776
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
Notes: Three Philosophers is a unique blend of a Belgian-style dark ale and Liefmans Kriek, an authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Cherry chestnut in color, it's opaque but not cloudy with full carbonation topped by a smooth, tan head. Flavors and aromas of roasted malt, molasses and brown sugar, dark fruits, brandied raisins and chocolate, Three Philosophers has notable sweetness with low hop bitterness. The mid-palate shows a soft malt center which gives way to a dry, warm, wine-like finish.

The complexity of this beer make it a good candidate for ageing gracefully, as spicy sherry and port notes should intensify.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 4.18 by beerjerk666 from Florida

Jan 22, 2023
 
Rated: 4.25 by RamonaBeer from California

Jan 03, 2023
 
Rated: 4.09 by jbolger from Connecticut

Jan 03, 2023
 
Rated: 4.25 by whatsgoody from Vermont

Jan 02, 2023
 
Rated: 4.01 by joran from Kansas

Dec 17, 2022
 
Rated: 4.17 by not2quick from Missouri

Dec 11, 2022
Photo of LukeGude
Rated by LukeGude from Iowa

3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
On tap at The Den at St. Burch. Strong but good for a frigid day.
Nov 18, 2022
 
Rated: 4.69 by Petemang1

Oct 30, 2022
Photo of md3kcn
Reviewed by md3kcn from North Carolina

4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
Given to me a couple of weeks ago as a corked bottle by a close friend of mine. Poured into a proper tulip glass.

L - Chestnut red and hazy, with a two-finger faintly reddish-tan head. Head stays awhile. Decent lacing.
S - Super complex. Raisin, toffee, cacao. Woodsy. A hint of earth. Burnt sugar. Strong.
T - Right off the bat, I'm getting a heavy burnt brown sugar. It eases into a toffee-raisin, followed by a faint hint of allspice. Extremely faint cherry. While I can't taste ethanol, it's definitely present. Well-balanced throughout, and the finish is a dry candied plum.
F - Full-bodied, with mild carbonation. Strong. Warming.
O - A fantastic representation of the style. Perfect in nearly every way. My biggest gripe however, is the distinct lack of cherry throughout (aside from a faint background note). If you're putting it on the label, I'm going to expect it as a dominant flavor! That aside, this is a crazy good quad to sip on. I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.
Oct 27, 2022
 
Rated: 3.75 by Dovers from Wisconsin

Aug 27, 2022
 
Rated: 3.79 by Spade from Pennsylvania

Aug 07, 2022
 
 
Rated: 4.18 by DarrellK from Florida

Jul 11, 2022
 
Rated: 4.02 by Sinister from New York

Jul 02, 2022
Photo of Perioddicals
Reviewed by Perioddicals from Texas

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75
L - Poured from a 16 oz. can into an oversized wine glass. Pours a dark brown with reddish hue in the light. Has a tan one finger head. Head quickly dissipates to a ring. Had definite clear alcohol “legs.”

S - Scents start with light malts before dark fruits. Some booziness at 9.7% ABV. A little sugar scent.

T - The dark fruit and specifically cherry flavors are front and center. The alcohol is up front too. A little more bourbon like.

F - Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is cola-like.

O - Overall, this is a quality beer that I recommend trying out. It’s higher ABV is very apparent while drinking and for that reason I don’t think I’ll add it to my regular rotation. Also the cherry flavoring sounds good in theory, but I don’t prefer it in practice. I enjoy other straight-forward Belgian Quadrupels more than this one.
Jun 30, 2022
Photo of Vykk_Draygo
Reviewed by Vykk_Draygo

4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Opaque reddish brown (colorblind, so best guess) with plenty of sediment. Thick off-white head that dissipates quickly with no real lacing to speak of.

The aroma is rich, tend towards cherry, and dark dried fruits. Sugar, burnt sugar. Moist earth, loam, and wet wood. Cola. Phenolic spice. Buried in there is a creamy oatmeal like aroma, trending towards nutty (like steel cut oats with almond milk). There's also a bit of cocoa powder hanging around the edges.

Taste is faithful to the aroma, just bigger and more intense. It leans heavily toward cola, even having a similar lingering sweet bitterness. It's almost bourbon like (Knob Creek), but too chocolatey and bitter to do more than insinuate a connection. The finish is rather prune like, and slowly fades to a lingering bitterness of hops and cocoa powder. Alcohol is apparent, but in a pleasant way (again, like with a good bourbon). As it warms, you get more fermentation funk (in a good way), and malty sweetness.


There is a lot going on here. Each sip is different as it warms. It's like a journey in a glass, and it's well worth taking. Delicious beer.
Jun 25, 2022
Photo of CuriousAgilist
Reviewed by CuriousAgilist

5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
The pour and the head is spectacular and very aggressive (quite a head; don't over pour or you're sure to waste some). The aroma of that first pour, especially into a chilled/frozen standard beer glass, is not to be missed. Everything there on out is just as enjoyable right up until you have to decide: "Shall I have another?"
Jun 24, 2022
 
Rated: 4.13 by Hawkfish from Washington

Jun 05, 2022
Photo of highdesertdrinker
Reviewed by highdesertdrinker from Arizona

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours the typical plum color with a tan head, it looks like a quadruple or a strong ale. Smells like cinnamon, raisins, with a whiff of alcohol. Tastes like cinnamon, raisins, sugar, malty, with a little burn. Not quite as good as the Belgian standards but it’s a tasty beer and has it’s own personality, cheers!
Jun 05, 2022
 
Rated: 4.24 by bottmfeedr from Texas

Apr 30, 2022
Photo of MNAle
Reviewed by MNAle from Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25
Surprisingly (to me), the head is short and very short-lived, despite as vigorous a pour as I could manage in the small 250ml chalice. While it lasts (look quickly), the head is a light tan color and bubbly. It quickly shrinks into sparse islands (and, then, also fairly quickly, disappears altogether), leaving a tea-like appearance. Dark reddish-brown from the front becomes a hazy bright ruby with a backlight. Active carbonation (also short-lived, though) rises to cause the islands to swirl around a bit. The color is great looking. Unfortunately, that is all that is great about the look.

Nice aroma, strong at first (I picked it up as soon as I cracked the can) but becomes pretty weak once the head is gone. I had to swizzle it to get a good whiff. Dark fruit, sweet candy, cherries. (Since I could tease an nice aroma with a swizzle, I didn't penalize the "smell" rating due to the limitation of the head - that was taken care of in the "look" rating.)

The flavor is very nice. Dark fruit, of course, sweet sugary candy, cherries-slightly tart. Spicy - coriander, perhaps some clove. No bittering. The middle exposes a malty foundation lending some needed gravitas to the beer. The interplay of the flavors never actually blends, but they do play off of each other very nicely. This is an excellent-tasting sipping beer, with lots going on in the flavor to keep me interested. The alcohol comes through into the flavor at the ~⅓-point of the beer and lingers through the remaining time. The finish is - oddly - a blend of sweet and dry. The candy bringing the sweet, and the cherries bringing the tart-dry.

The body is thinner than I expected for such a strong beer, and the feel is flat despite the initially active carbonation (which, as I mentioned above, seems to have disappeared along with the head). The feel ends up being a bit annoying (that is, for a flavor that is so great, there is a feel is so meh).

Overall, this beer might have among the widest variation among my rating of the individual elements (3.25 to 4.5), but the ones that count the most are the highest, so overall, it ends up at a weighted rating of 4.19. But, somehow, a bit of a disappointing 4.19.
Apr 28, 2022
 
Rated: 4.06 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Apr 10, 2022
Photo of shu
Reviewed by shu from Georgia

4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Intro description is pretty accurate. Heavy on the dark dried fruit. Feel and head is abbey style. Not a go to beer but def worth indulging. Seems a good winter holiday selection.
Mar 05, 2022
 
Rated: 4.07 by cgrunin from Texas

Feb 26, 2022
Photo of Iamaskier
Reviewed by Iamaskier from Idaho

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Hazy light brown body, with a fizzy head. Smell is deep and sweet; roasted malt, caramel, raspberry, pepper, hints of spice and esters, a bit of chocolate. Taste is also fairly sweet; immediately comes the spice, with coriander, and pepper; orange peel and citrus too, followed by a strong malty backbone. The kriek comes out on the finish, with cherry and raspberry that add a sweet balance to the upfront spice. Fairly high carbonation, and the ABV is quite noticeable. This is bigger than I expected, and while I very much enjoy the complexity it comes off a tad unbalanced.
Feb 23, 2022
 
Rated: 3.91 by Argail from Louisiana

Feb 13, 2022
Photo of klarcbarr3
Reviewed by klarcbarr3 from Michigan

3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Three Philosophers pours a medium, cloudy brown beneath an off-white two finger head. Actual chocolate flakes do float about the bottom of the glass, the cherry ale lightens the color and eye appeal of this brew. Chocolate, cherry, almond and sugary notes create a parfum more admirable for complexity than actually enjoyable. The taste is perplexing. The chocolate and cherry flavors stand apart, rather than melding. Hops, malt, and an overbearing fruit sweetness collide to create a delicate, fussy, overthought delight, with a saccharin mouthfeel aftertaste, much like marzipan. I never understood the appeal of marzipan. Pretty much the same here. I get the mission, I sense quality ingredients. It just doesn't ring my bell.
Jan 30, 2022
 
Rated: 4.49 by adamstef

Jan 22, 2022
 
Rated: 4.34 by PaulMayer from Virginia

Jan 10, 2022
 
Rated: 3.9 by newcastlemike from Connecticut

Jan 06, 2022
 
Rated: 4.25 by Velivolus1 from Vermont

Dec 30, 2021
 
Rated: 4.24 by MutuelsMark from Kentucky

Dec 26, 2021
Photo of cwm51662
Reviewed by cwm51662 from Indiana

4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
As I scroll down the reviews, I see a lot of variation. This one's a dark amber, lots of sediment, which ain't a bad thing. Prune, cherry, and tang (not the orange juice) are noticeable first, then a sticky thickness. THEN the alcohol (again, not a bad thing. Notes of bread on the back channel. I had a 4-pack a while back and forgot to review, enjoyed it then and now. A lot like an unsweetened thick cider that's fermenting to alcohol instead of vinegar.
Dec 24, 2021
Photo of ATL6245
Reviewed by ATL6245 from Georgia

4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: Dark brown, tan colored mousse-like head, tight compact bubbles with excellent retention.

Aroma: Yeast forward, bubble gum is prominent. Caramel. Dark fruit.

Flavor & Aftertaste: Alcohol noted. Some chocolate notes mixed with caramel. Faint, mild cherry flavor. Dry start to finish.

Mouth-feel: Light to medium bodied, high carbonation.

Overall: Demonstrates quite a jarring bite between the higher ABV & high carbonation. Gets your attention. Label mentions cherries, but that's pretty well hidden in there. But, as you drink it, you start noticing the tart, sour finish. Highly effervescent. Visually, it promotes a lengthy, creamy looking head, more so than most beer styles. I'll admit, this beer is not my normal cup of tea. But, it's interesting and a nice change of pace. Not quite sure where it fits into my seasonal/regular beer routine. Well worth a shot.
Dec 10, 2021
Photo of sulldaddy
Reviewed by sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I cannot believe Ive never reviewed this beer! I used to drink the 750 corked and caged bottles of this beer on the regular!
Tonight I have a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into my snifter.
The beer pours a rich mahogany color with deep garnet undertones when held up to the light. A dense creamy beige head of 2 cm foams up and fades to a very sturdy surface layer that sticks around through the sampling.
Aroma on this one features some toffee and brown sugar and a bit of tart cherry note. Almost a little funky too, but no hop notes and the abv is well hidden at this point.
First sip reveals a medium body with fine tingly, yet soft carbonation. The beer feels a little slick, I expected and remembered more of a sticky feel, but its what Ive got right now.
Flavor is some brief brown sugar and a bit of dark fruit, raisins mostly. This rolls to some faint tart cherry notes and a little bit of a black peppery bite, which I attribute to the ABV. Even with this bite, the drying finish encourages me to take another sip, which gets me to emptying my glass much to quickly.
QUite a nice beer that Im glad to have revisited. Definitely a classic and one I will gladly drink again.
Dec 04, 2021
 
Rated: 4.25 by clm9 from North Carolina

Nov 25, 2021
 
Rated: 4.21 by irishevans from California

Nov 24, 2021
Photo of VTbrewfan
Reviewed by VTbrewfan from New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a 16 oz can into a Teku glass. Deep mahogany in color, fluffy white head, slowly receding. Watch that pour because this guy will get a little out of control. Scents of raisins, dates, prune juice and red wine. Flavors of baking spice, oak, brandy, dark cherries, prune, fig. It’s funny, I’ve been drinking 3 philosophers for years now but just realized I have never rated it. First time I’ve tried it from a can- no discernible difference from bottles but I also haven’t tried them head to head. I do appreciate the pint vs ~12 oz volume though- basically the same price between 4 cans and 4 bottles but going to have a nice buzz on by the time I’m done drinking a pint! Maybe the best Belgian style beer I’ve had from the US. I always like to pick up some of these when the weather starts getting cold and reminds me of decorating the Christmas tree.
Nov 12, 2021
 
Rated: 4.54 by Gukkor from Texas

Oct 04, 2021
Photo of NCSapiens
Reviewed by NCSapiens from Indiana

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
For my money this is as good as an American Belgian style beer can get. I tried this for the first time about 10 years ago, somehow never reviewed. I saw it in the local gas station in Delhi NY, about 30 minutes from the brewery. I knew nothing about it, but it was the only craft beer available, so I bought a six pack (well truthfully I also bought a sixer by Saranac, but that is an entirely different story). Needless to say I wasn’t expecting much. When I poured the first bottle into a goblet, it had a billowing three finger frothy head and gorgeous brown color with ruby highlights. Next I discovered a pleasant cherry and malt aroma. Then I had the first sip, and I couldn’t believe my taste buds. Cherries, plums, raisins, molasses, a subtle bread-like yeast, and a nice malt backbone. I took another sip, and it was just as good. Somehow the beer I bought between the Miller and Bud at my crappy local gas station was clearly a world class beer. I had previously lived in Colorado, and enjoyed New Belgium, but this was better! These days Ommegang is nationally known because of its Game of Thrones beer. But 3 Philosophers is truly the one and only king of American made Quads.
Sep 20, 2021
Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 6838 ratings