Three Philosophers | Brewery Ommegang

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Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,166 | Ratings: 6,667
Photo of Humanusfermentum
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice reddish-brown pour with a decent, foamy tan head. Head dissipates into a soapy ring that remains throughout from active carbonation. Smell is sweet, roasty, a little fruity and some dark bread. Fairly mild nose, though. Taste is roasty and bready up front. Dark, sugary malt base shines with a distinct layer of sherry notes. Some dark fruit qualities in the middle. Finish is yeasty, with continuing, strong, belgian qualities and a hit of brandy. Lots of complexity as it warms, even if off-balance. Nice, zippy mouthfeel and plenty of carbonation. Too tasty and complex to quibble. I'd bet aging smooths it out.

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Photo of DrBeergood
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Serve at 50F"

Sorry, this is America.

The bottle I have is labelled 2017, I'm drinking it June 15th, 2019. The bottle has been abused, subjected to wild temperature variations and exposed to sunlight, but I'm not scared.

The bottle is shaped like it's a quad. The labelling says "98% quad, 2% ale with cherries added, 9.7% ABV" So it's honest. It has the appearance of being a sophisticated, but pretentious brew. Pressing on.

Opaque amber in color. I gave it a mild pour, not reading about the yeast sediment until too late. There was some head dissipating into a rim of lacing.

It smells boozy, like a Cabernet Sauvginon. Tangy yeast, possibly cleaved by mishandling. Not to suggest it's hard on the nose, but you don't come across it every day. Onward.

The flavor is dark and delicious. Toasty Roasty malt, molasses, brown sugar, brandied raisins, chocolate, tart cherry. Do I need to continue?

Just read the commercial description, it's spot on. They aren't just making things up. This is for real.

Perhaps, as suggested, such a complex brew, will leave you something to contemplate during a lapse in conversation.

10/10, would recommend, this brew rivals, maybe even surpasses, Stone Arrogant Bastard. I would say that two bottles, for the average person, will get them to their destination.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.21/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

$ 17.00 (Including tax)/4-pack of 12 oz bottles ($ 0.354/oz) from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 6/13/19.
Undated other than “2017” as part of the front label design. On shelf at point of sale. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 57 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.5.
First pour – Amber, slight haze.
Body – Muddy medium brown. When held to the light, a definite reddish cast is noted.
Head – Large (Maximum 7.2 cm, aggressive center pour), tannish, initially medium density but quickly becomes fizzy and opens into low density froth, short retention, diminishing to a three to four mm crown and a thin partial cap.
Lacing – None.
Aroma – 3 – Begins on a strong sour note but this quickly fades to nothing. No fruit, no yeast, no malt, no phenolics, no alcohol. In fact, after the initial burst of sourness, this settles into a barely detectable generic sweetness.
Flavor – 3.25 – Distinct notes of cherry cough syrup. No alcohol taste or aroma (9.7% ABV), no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide. The alcohol does produce a slight gastric warming. The general maltiness and dark fruit/phenolic/yeasty hints of most quads are absent.
Palate – 3.25 – Full, approaching syrupy, somewhat lively carbonation. It leaves my lips sticky.
Impression and interpretation – 3.25 – Very slightly above average quad.

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Photo of Buck89
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A hazy copper-red hue with a modest tan head that hung around for a while. Cherries, caramel, and plum on the nose. The Kriek was most prominent on the palate. Cherries and a slight funk at first, but it then blended nicely with a mellow caramel and toffee quad base. I was left with the impression of a liquid Tootsie cherry pop. Not a bad thing.

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Photo of MaltyMagic
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage. Deep rich amber pour, beige head, beautiful color. Brown sugar, toffee, butterscotch, dark fruit, tart cherry, dark bread, banana-nut, hints of chocolate, leather and tobacco. Rough around the edges at fridge temps with prominent mineral and licorice overpowering the show early on. The aroma opens up before the flavor and tells me this is going to be excellent as it warms. The flavor follows shortly thereafter, showcasing the layers of dark malt and ripe yeast flavors as it nears cellar temps. Sweet and tart...bit of dry bitterness tries to compete for the finish but is outlasted by caramelized sugar, grain, fruity/nutty yeast, and a slight alcoholic heat. Yum. Go get you some.

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Photo of MercInc
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

New label dated 2017. Poured at 55 Degrees in a tulip glass. Reddish amber hue, with a creamy long lasting head. Though not a "Fruity" beer fan, I found that the addition of the cherry ale was a good match. Some sweetness, but not overpowering. the aroma is just there. At 9.7 ABV, there was no "boozy" after taste. Nice touch of bitterness in the back. Very good Quad.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.57/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

August 9th, 2015 - Updating my older memory of the Three Philosophers was more from a lack of choice at the local store, but I want to see if I am as critical of the beer as I used to be, too. Dark and sturdy, it has a very, very sweet smell, with a quality Belgian yeast aroma, and later on some notes of dark cherry cobbler. The body is lighter, with a muted, bubbly head on every drink, and lots of dark cherry, fig, blueberries and grape. That's a long list of fruits, but it isn't cloying sweet, although it does lead with fruits and end with fruits.

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Photo of Myros
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2017 vintage
From a bottle to a chalice.
Pours a beautiful ruby brown color, clear but opaque from darkness. Serious effervescence can be seen and heard. A thick, one finger, beige head stayed in place for a bit with spotty lacing as it receded.

Aroma is of sweet, dark fruit; cherry; apple; oloroso Sherry; subtle phenolic spiciness; and mild alcohol.

Taste is cherry prominent, somewhat surprisingly. It has a good deal of complexity outside of the cherry, but definitely secondary to the Kriek. Esters of raisin, plum, and fig are joined by phenols of cinnamon, vanilla, and subtle clove. A malty sweetness prevails with brown sugar and light molasses flavor. A Sherry-like quality is noticeable and pleasant. Alcohol is noticeable as warmth but not in taste, not nearly as much as expected from a 9.7% ABV. The finish is dry and pithy bitter.

Mouthfeel is a lighter than expected medium-full, mouth-coating body with heavy carbonation.

Overall, an exceptional Belgian dark strong ale with a twist of Kriek ale. Not my favorite but competition is fierce in this category. I do like that the alcohol was so well hidden.

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Photo of good_to_sea
4.64/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Murky brown with a large, brown, tan head. Good lacing.
Smell: Nutty aroma, cherry, some brown sugar, a bit of acetone/banana/booziness.
Taste: Tastes like biting into a dark chocolate cake with a bit of cherry jam inside. Some caramel, some banana, some booze flavor. A touch of dryness to balance things out. Cherries on the finish.
Feel: Very smooth and rich, slightly oily and mouth-coating, but with some crispness. Medium carbonation.
Overall: A big, rich, deeply-flavored beer. Probably my favorite beer.

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Photo of Beerman121184
4.94/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a amazing beer. I live about 45 minutes from the brewery. Definitely their best non G.O.T offering. I definitely plan on going to the brewery soon.

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Photo of HellsRanger
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I cellared this brew since fall 2016 and This Quad holds up to pour a nice rich slight hazy redish brown with a still very thick body tan head... that holds up with fairly nice lacing.
For the has a nice slightly nutty/cherry fruit note to it and maybe a bit plum/prunes hint maybe on the burnt side tho.
Taste is also still up front and personal...with a mild edge with the fruity cherry/prune coming thru & a mild sweetness to it along with some mild funk & a slight roasty edge.
The feel follows the taste and I feel better with age...being on the edgey side, but maybe from the nice ABV & carbonation it has...that holds up thru-out that may give the edge as well.
All in all it is a very nice Belgian brew that I will continue to enjoy and cellar for years hopefully.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - 2 finger head from a 750ml bottle and to a Belgian glass. Deep brown with a slight ruby hue. Great head retention. Thick foam - nice Khaki color. Quite opaque, but not cloudy

Smell - Not very aromatic. Some Fig and Plum aroma. Some Belgian spice and yeast

Taste - Quick bite of booze up front. Sweet fruit rush in - cherry, prune, raisin. Some malt sweetness. There's an amazing Belgian richness (slight funk, spices, yeast, sharp tang). Sweetness and fruitiness fade, then the beer dries out and gets a roasty / slightly charred wood flavor

Feel - Medium + / Fairly full - Thick and a bit syrupy. Stasy fairly active throughout the entire bottle and doesn't totally flatten out

Overall - This is a very good Quad with cherry that is rich and flavorful. More cherry may have been a bit better. This one definitely got better as it warmed up. Strong Belgian yeast flavors and spices. Very happy with this one. Doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of rudiecantfail
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ML bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Reddish brown color with a good head with some retention and so-so lacing.

S---Cherries, brown sugar and a touch of booziness.

T---Again, cherries & brown sugar. Caramel malts & dark fruit.

F---A touch boozy, but not as much as the alcohol content would lead you to believe. Good carbonation. It feels like a serious beer.

O---Excellent offering from an excellent brewery. This is Wifey's single favorite beer. It's always in the rotation as a treat for both of us.

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Photo of gandres
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sunday, October 28, 2018 7:56 PM
1 pint 9.4 fluid ounces/750 mL bottle poured to wine glass
Sight: dark amber, medium off white foam, hazy
Smell: very good fragrant, fruity, nice aroma
Taste: very good, balance - medium to high bitterness
Mouthfeel: very good, long follow through, bitter after taste
Overall: excellent beer, repeat, look for yes

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Photo of penguinsgoboom
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a thick 2 finger tan head. Color is a pomegranate maroon. Nice lacing. Bits of yeast floating about.

S: Chocolate, cherries, some sort of port wine. Caramel, rich, sweet

T: Flavor immediate jumps out. Dark deep rich maltiness with brown sugar, chocolate, and spices literally rises into the roof of your mouth. Transitions to some dark fruit, and alcoholic. Super smooth for 9.7%.

O: Incredibly complex beer that has it's own style. A mish mash of flavors that create one beautiful experience. This is definitely a sipping beer.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a murky brown with a large foamy tan head. Nice amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is brown sugar, toffee, dates and dark cherries.

T - The taste is brown sugar, caramel, molasses, dark cherries, prune, raisins and figs.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - Very solid American made Quad. The flavors are rich and inviting. Very nice.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle traded from Hinda65. Poured into Central Waters snifter.

Nice toffee caramel color, good balance of opacity and transparency, with an egg-foam yellow head of 2 fingers, falling to 1 finger and staying there.

Aroma is lots of caramel, sticky prune, mild chocolate and nutty notes, slight red grape notes.

Flavor is warming and boozy, with a good presence of hot caramel, dark cherry, fig, prune, raisin, nuts, and brown bread. A lot going on, but not really a focus on any one or two things.

Feel is a bit overcarbonated than I'd like for a Quad, with warming alcohol and a hot but not particularly drying finish.

Overall, a good but not great Quad. I'd like to see this barrel aged.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unknown vintage (date smudged); drank 9/9/18 @ the Yarchives.

Cloudy orange/red rust appearance.

An even pour yielded a nice khaki head; almost no lace.

Cherry, caramel & leather notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Cherry juice & caramel flavors up front; strong clove notes & some leather on the finish.

Not bad, but that clove dominates the flavors underneath. Good, not great.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have no clue how I have not reviewed this beer before.

Experimented with a 4 year aged bottle (2014 vintage)

Pours murky brown with ample yeast sediment.

Aroma is of sweet malt, booze, and a bit of yeast. A little muted with age.

Taste is of a classic quad. Lots of dark fruits (figs and raisins). The beer is sweet. Borderline too much for the traditional style. Lots of honey, malt, and brown sugar. A little booze, tart cherry, and lemon peak through exciting the palate.

Overall, a good beer and one of the better American examples of the style. This did age significantly better than the sixth glass by boulevard. I see this pairing well with poached pears or filet with beef Demi glaze. It gets a 90/100.

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Photo of degueulasse
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2013 vintage of Three Philosophers is a smooth, thick beer that tastes malty and somewhat like caramel. It is a lighter brown and has a soft, sweet smell to it (though thankfully isn't too sweet to the taste).

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Photo of hophugger
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Liefmans Kriek and the Belgian Quad blend produces quite a bold and interesting beer. Color is brown with dark red tinges, especially along the extreme edges. Head is average and a slightly pink off-white color. Aroma is full of yeast, cherries and light sweet bready malts. Taste is sweet yet has a nice carbonation from the blending of the Kriek. Cherry, alcohol, yeast are players and this is a fine yeasty and bready example of a quad. Finish is slightly sweet and has touches of banana and cherry

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Photo of rhamning
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Every I have this beer I like something different. Today its the complexity in the nose. Yesterday it was the complex blend of so many different tastes. Tomorrow it might be the way it enhances and works in harmony with the seafood appetizer. It wasn't made to overwhelm the senses, and it certainly wasn't made by a team of shy, withdrawn folks. Just a nicely balanced, well made beer that always satisfies.

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Photo of JacobusFavier23
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L-Pours a dark chestnut brown beer with some yeasty floaters. Massive three finger head
S-Oaky and yeasty spiciness. Dark fruit, cherry is please, phenolic and boozy.
T-Malty, malty sweet, caramelized malt, dark fruits including cherry, brown sugar, bitter hop, honey and molasses.
F- Chewy and heavy.
O- My first Omegang beer. Extremely well crafted beer. I enjoyed every sip.

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Photo of beersampler6
3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly good beer but for its reputation and name I was expecting more. Nice amber-brown color with some nice head and lingering lacing. Smells of sweet dark fruit. Tastes of ripe fruit, caramel, malt, grain and that yeast so indicative of this style. Smooth mild mouthfeel with some mild carbonation. A little too sweet and cloying for me without much complexity or bitterness to balance the sweetness. Alcohol taste is well-hidden though.

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Photo of Billybrewer
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I found this on the beer list where I live about 7 hours away from Cooperstown and said Beer me. A friend from upstate ny introduced me to Ommegang many years ago and I’ve never been disappointed. Being a quadrupel, you expect a stronger beer with complex notes and flavor and this beer has all of that. I am not sure I understand the description above that includes a sour blend. I didn’t get that. I found it to be smooth and very indicative o& a quadrupel with one exception.. .it needed more carbonation. Delightfully enjoyable beer. My beer bottle label was brown and green, very different from above, but O probably just changed labels over the years. Prost

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Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,667 ratings