Three Philosophers
Brewery Ommegang

Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #41
Ranked #4,223
4.15 | pDev: 11.33%
Apr 30, 2022
Apr 23, 2002
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.
4.24 by bottmfeedr from Texas on Apr 30, 2022
Photo of MNAle
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25
by MNAle from Minnesota

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
4.06 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on Apr 10, 2022
Photo of shu
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by shu from Georgia

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
4.07 by cgrunin from Texas on Feb 26, 2022
Photo of Iamaskier
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Iamaskier from Idaho

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
3.91 by Argail from Louisiana on Feb 13, 2022
Photo of klarcbarr3
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by klarcbarr3 from Michigan

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
3.9 by newcastlemike from Connecticut on Jan 06, 2022
4.25 by Velivolus1 from Vermont on Dec 30, 2021
4.24 by Korbynlehr from Kentucky on Dec 26, 2021
Photo of cwm51662
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by cwm51662 from Indiana

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
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by ATL6245 from Georgia

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
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by sulldaddy from Connecticut

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
4.25 by clm9 from North Carolina on Nov 25, 2021
4.21 by irishevans from California on Nov 24, 2021
Photo of VTbrewfan
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by VTbrewfan from Massachusetts

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
4.54 by Gukkor from Texas on Oct 04, 2021
Photo of NCSapiens
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by NCSapiens from Indiana

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
4.05 by beaulabauve from Louisiana on Aug 16, 2021
Photo of spectru
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by spectru from Florida

August 13, 2021 - Opaquish dark copper color, nice cream color head slowly recedes to a cap, and then to a ring, no lacing; A noticeable aroma - citrus tangy, fruity; Mouthfeel is quite good; The flavor is odd, and leaves a yucky aftertaste? Well, let's see if it grows on ya. It is robust. And sour, but not too sour, but it has a bad flavor I can't name. I do not like it.

August 20, 2021 - Second bottle much better. Whatever that bad taste was it didn't recur. So its not bad. The 9.7 ABV is quite noticeable, not in the flavor, but in the effect. So I must have gotten a skunky one before. I raised the score for taste and overall.

Aug 14, 2021
Photo of reknirdsuomynona
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by reknirdsuomynona from Massachusetts

Poured from a pint can into a pint mug

L - Clear amber in color. Substantial light tan head three-fingers thick which settles to a complete and persistent layer. Lacing is present thanks to the thick ring of foam along edges of the glass though the head is so thick it takes a while to display. Looks like a glass of honey.

S - The cherry aroma is at the forefront. Very strong and sweet. Malt of brown sugar/molasses on the backend. No hops to be found. Smells just like a holiday fruitcake. Not detecting the typical notes found in lambics however.

T - A cornucopia of flavors intermingling. It's very hard to nail down individual ones. The typical fresh tartness and earthiness of the kriek yeast are dominant on the palate. It's sweet but not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. Fruitcake in a glass would be a fair comparison. Cinnamon spices and brown sugar mix expertly with the cherries. There is a slight medicinal quality that a bit off-putting, possibly from the high gravity. Some may like that, but I don't. Thankfully it doesn't mar the experience too much.

F - This is a big boy. Each sip of this syrupy brew is like a bite of food. Very heavy body, carbonation level is medium but suitable for this. Probably best to drink this one on its own. You won't have much room for food otherwise.

Ommegang really delivered on this one. Will definitely get it again.

Jul 31, 2021
Photo of 1BrewBacca
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by 1BrewBacca from Georgia

Look: I believe this appears to be the quintessential Quadruple Ale. Deep amber liquid with a creamy yellowish head that tames down to a thin foam layer with nice lace on the glass.
Smell and Taste: Roasted malts and cherries.
Feel: 9.7% ABV is a perfect setting for this brew. Leans toward the high end on the carbonation scale but it's not overbearing.
Overall: Got to stick with the taste grade on this one. A very good Quad.

Jul 28, 2021
4.39 by cbuzz24 from Mississippi on Jul 28, 2021
Photo of donzilake
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by donzilake from Ohio

Pours a hazy prune juice color producing 1.5 inches of tightly bubbled, very short-lived, light tan head that leaves little lace. Aroma is vinous with notes of cherry, caramel malt, brown sugar, something medicinal and a hint of alcohol. Taste is cherry tarts, plum, caramel, yeast bread, dark fruits and red wine with the medicinal note heaviest in the sweet, almost syrupy finish. Alcohol spice and warmth throughout. Complex, strongly flavored and heavy bodied with low carbonation.

Jul 19, 2021
3.25 by XmnwildX12 from Minnesota on Jul 18, 2021
3.75 by KT3418 from Colorado on Jul 10, 2021
4.59 by jkermitj from Mississippi on Jun 24, 2021
Photo of snaotheus
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by snaotheus from Washington

16oz can served in a big snifter. Gift from a friend. Best By 110921. Not sure, but may have been canned on 110920.

Pours a dark amber brown with a medium to small sized head, not much carbonation. Smell is dates, cherries, yeast, a little booze.

Taste is Belgian dubbel/quad...dates/raisins, yeast, maybe a hint of molasses, with a little bit of unsweetened cherry juice added to it. Yeasty for sure, maybe a little hay or grain husk.

Mouthfeel is medium, maybe even lighter. Overall, it's interesting and not bad.

Jun 14, 2021
4.03 by Maxxis from Illinois on May 30, 2021
4.5 by Burg from New Hampshire on May 05, 2021
4.5 by eameslover from Michigan on Apr 28, 2021
3.78 by readyforthenet from New York on Apr 21, 2021
4.03 by TomBanahan from Kentucky on Apr 18, 2021
Photo of hreb
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by hreb from Washington

An old classic. Haven't had this in years... but how did I manage to avoid reviewing it a decade a ago? 750mL cork-and-cage topped bottle served in a Chimay chalice. Beer is deeply hued brown and forms a thick chestnut head which gradually falls. Aroma is intruiging with cherry, oak, and the distinct twang of Belgian yeast.

Flavor has an immediate fruity taste of kriek. Sweet red cherries, but also raisins and brown sugar. Complimented exquisitely by dark malt flavors, bread and treacle. The mouthfeel is outstanding, smooth and weighty, punched up more by the allspice and clove spicy flavors than carbonation.

Out of all of Ommegang's mainstay beers, I'm probably most likely to pass over this one because I'm so rarely in the mood for a cherry beer. But that doesn't detract one bit from how delicious it is.

Apr 18, 2021
4.1 by SViterileroux74 from Texas on Apr 10, 2021
Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 6819 ratings