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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

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2,071 Reviews
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2002

For Trade:
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Reviews: 2,071 | Ratings: 6,320
Photo of SethB2
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chalice.

Beer pours a deep brown, bordering black, with ruby tinges around the edge of the glass. The head is a tad on the small side, but other than that, this is a good looking beer. Smell is like a quad, but a bit more sour. Ripe fruits with a tart bite. Taste is much like the smell. The beer starts out with a fruity sweetness, but toward the end of the drink, transitions smoothly into a sour note (in a good way). Mouthfeel is good. Full bodied, but a little alcoholic. Drinkablity is pretty good too. Nice beer.

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Photo of maek228
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a well murky, cloudy amber/ruby with a head that retained wondefully and minimum lacing...which would make sense due to the lack of hops

Smell: the bottle tells me that cherry lambic was added to this ale....my nose tells me this is the truth. the lambic mixed with the sweet malts is an inviting smell.

Taste: what a mess, how do i describe a taste so unique? this beer tightly maintains the characteristics of a quadrupel....the malts be sweet, the phenols be present, and the alcohol is there...but that touch of cherry lambic just puts this over the top. I love quads, i love strong beers, and i love unique beers. this taste captures these three criteria with honors.

Mouthfeel: somewhat thick and juicy...above average carbonation

Drinkability: you might have to call the paramedics if i got my hands on a case

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Photo of BitteBier
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An interesting pour, characteristic of Ommegang. Cloudy apple cider amber color with some copper red present too. A relatively small amount of tan head that nonetheless sticks around for a while and clings pretty well. Nose improved noticeably as this one warmed, with sweet but complex malts (reminding me of Scotch ales) tinged with sour cherry, spices, and a bit of alcohol. The taste too improved as the beer (and I) warmed. That malty-cherry-spicy blend faded nicely into a slightly warm and nicely lingering finish. The mouthfeel is intriguingly soft and full with a lasting crispness. While I will stick with some of Ommegang's other offerings, this one is worth another go. I look forward to pairing it with some appropriate chow.

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Photo of jettjon
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Appearance, nose
Lows: A bit too bitter and too much alcohol presence

Pours a caramel brown, translucent, nearly opaque color, quite attractive. Head is initially large, thick, creamy, and a yellow-brown tannish color that fades very slowly leaving little lacing behind. Nose is excellent, heavy with dark fruits including dark cherries—pretty standard for a quadrupel or dark ale. Taste is similarly characteristic: plums, apricots, and a strong dark cherry presence. There’s also quite a bit of alcohol at work here, and sadly, it detracts. There’s also an annoying bitterness, but both the alcohol and bitterness are diminished if the beer is sipped rather than gulped. Mouth is creamy, thick, and smooth—very smooth. Mouthfeel is excellent and adds to the enjoyability of this ale. Finishes up on an alcohol/bitter note, sort of a bitter fruit rind flavor that detracts from the overall flavor. Drinkability is good *as a sipping beer* but other than that is only a bit above average—this is an acerbic beer to be sure.

Overall: An interesting take on the quadrupel—they claim to mix with a cherry lambic, and it shows, yielding a bittersweet, nearly syrupy concoction much better sipped than gulped, especially at 9.8% ABV. Not my favorite quadrupel, but worth a try.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from caged and corked 750ml(2005-room temp) a deep amber with a huge head of foam that dissipates slowly leaving a fine layer with nice lacing.

The smell is a wonderfully sweet malt and cherry that explodes out of the bottle upon opening and continues from my New Belgium goblet.

The taste is a mix of caramel sweetness and cherry tartness, an unusual combination for my taste buds but the more I sip, the more I realize that this brew is quite enjoyable and the near 10%abv? I don't find it in the taste at all and after swallowing, there's just a slight warming. Good stuff!

Bottom line: This is a fine brew that I *know* I'll be trying again. I recommend it.

Edit, Nov 2 1010: My first bottle since my review, a 12ozer. As deliciously cherry tarty and with the same caramel sweetness as the 750ML bottles. It lost nothing going down from the large format bottle at all. A real treat to drink!

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Photo of rustymoore
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber cloudy brown with good head and minimal lacing. Smells of dried fruits, dates, caramel and fig notes as well a strong hop presence. Tastes like much of the same. Mouthfeel is somewhat bitter but smooth overall. Drinkability is limited by high AC but this is sweet enough to power over the stong alcohol taste.

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Photo of rodrot
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750 ml bottle. This beer had a brownish amber appearance with a huge light tan head that lingered in the glass. Aroma was malty and caramelly with hints of fruit in the nose. Taste was a wonderful mix of sweet malts, dark fruit, cherries, chocolate and alcohol. I could taste a little bit of sour wineyness in the finish. This is a very rich and warming brew that is very easy to drink despite the heavy body. I polished off the entire bottle in about an hour and enjoyed every drop of it. An excellent beer for the money($5.99).

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Photo of custardcb
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich mahogany and red color. Even when held up to the light the body is so rich hardly any light comes crawling through. The head is a bit foamy then settles down to a nice thin head that retains is structure the entire time it is being consumed.

The nose has notes of stone fruit and sweet alcohol. The yeast comes through nicely as well. The mouthfeel is incredibly smoothe and rich. The cheeries are prominent and go well with the rest of the blend.

This should be enjoyed sparsly with friends and would be fantastic at the end of a good meal.

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Photo of DaggerEyes
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle into a chalice

Poured with a one finger thick fizzy head, with a dark reddish brown color, that when is held up to light displays reddish , garnett hues. Head settled into a thin coat of lacing over the entire surface, fairly sticky the lacing clings to the side of the glass and retreats slowly after each sip.

The scent of alchohol is subtly present on the nose mingling with lovely fruity notes (the cherry lambic is present though subtle) Also present on the nose are scents of caramel and faint scent of perhaps milk chocolate. Also earthy scents and some medicinal properties

Taste of cooked fruit, slight carmel malt character. The cherry lambic is definitly present. Not as many other notes that are present on the nose appear in the taste. A bit sugary...with some earthy flavors

Strong ammount of carbonation, very effervescent with a light and round mouth feel. A crisp and slightly dry finish.

An absolute pleasure to enjoy on it's own. Swirl it around in your glass a bit, it will bring out some really amazing scents

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Photo of jorjoria
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby amber color with a monstrous head.

Smell: Smells of fermentation esters very fruity with a little biscuit and distinct cherry notes.

Taste: You can tell this is a Quadrupel. I love how the various yeast flavors play across my tongue mingling with the nice but not overwhelming CO2. The notes of fruit and cherry are present just like in the nose. Also get some nice fresh baked bread flavors with a little of sourness. The complexity of the beer is just great my one issue is its a little on the sweet side.
Overall though just a great brew and the fact I can pick up a 750 and local quicky mart for $6 just makes it even better.

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Photo of veggiemafia
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz. bottle shared between a couple folks.

This is by far the most carbonated beer I've ever encountered, the cork definitely did not fool around and kind of shot off with a little bit of twisting. Head is as you'd expect it, huge and foamy and rocky. Nice color, dark, translucent, good wall color.

Smell is huge, Belgian yeast, sugar, not a lot of the cherry thing, but tart smelling from the yeast maybe? Really well balanced, sweet, but with a really nice spine of tartness.

Taste is more of the same, but the Kriek makes a notable appearance and this works really well. Balance is the key, and this totally has that going on in many good ways.

Mouthfeel is thick, but very alive with carbonation, really crisp and refreshing.

This might be a little too big, flavor-wise, to drink too much of, but a really great interpretation of the style.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Left a one finger head that was colored like espresso foam, that is, it was a biege-brown foam that receded after a while into surface skim that lingered until the end. Not really much in way of lacing. The body was deepest brown, maybe deepest maroon, almost black. Can see through it though, if you hold it up to the light.

Aroma - sweet candied fruit, chocolate, and phenols upfront, some bready malt, some caramelly malt even, in the middle and both some ester and alcohol solvency at the end.

Taste - exactly as nose indicates. Sweet dried and candied fruits ( think dates, plums, raisins ) Add to that a rich hearty sweet bread containing all those dried, candied fruits. The finish is of phenols and the tinyest hint of the high abv of almost 10%. No hop flavor to speak of. Aftertaste of raisiny, date-y, sweet rolls with a little hint of lemon ( there's the hops after all; maybe? ), and yet more of this taste if you lick your lips. Leaves you sweet and dry at the same time, with no bitterness at all, or parching dryness either, nor any kind of cloying sweetness at all. That hint of the alcohol from the high abv I mentioned?, well you kind of have to look for it, or just be aware that it's there to really taste it at all, which I think is always an excellent thing in a beer. Just well balanced deliciously rich ( but not nauseatingly so ) sweet malts and candied, dried fruits.This is excellent beer.

Mouthfeel - very full, moderately chewy, with very little carbonation. Slight hop oil coating. Finishes very dry, but not parchingly so, but does leave your mouth watering for the next sip.

Drinkablity - this goes down very easy, and is delicious! High abv limits it to one 750ml ( or two 12 oz.'ers ) per sitting. I was going to ding it a half point on this trait, but I just can't - it gets the full 5 -just excersize due diligence and repsonsilblity, you'll be wasted in no time flat after two 750's without seeing it coming because this excellent ale completely hides, and I mean completely hides, the potency of its high abv.

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Photo of blackie
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Pours a fluffy 0.8" khaki head that slowly recedes, though only partially. Little lacing is left behind. The beer is a dark reddish amber in color, with plenty of floaters suspended throughout.

smell: Upon swirling the glass and inhaling deeply, wonderful aromas assault the palate, propelled forth by the ample carbonation. Tart and sweet cherries, fresh aromatic hardwoods, candied tree fruits, and dark sugars are found. The hop aroma seems light, but it may simply be overpowered by the other goodness going on. Nary a hint of the ethanol presence.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lower half of the high range, and composed of small, smooth bubbles. The body is light.

taste: Wild and fruity notes up front. Hints of cherry, oak, slight ethanol, and various fruits are found. Moderate noble hop flavors are found, and considerable bitterness cleans everything up and dries out the finish. Not quite as pleasing as the aroma, but good nonetheless. Just not enough malt character or depth for me.

drinkability: Limited by the dryness, carbonation, and alcohol content (the effects, not the presence), but still good.

Purchased last August, and cellared about 8 months since then.

note: Sometime early in the winter of 2006-2007, probably around November, I had a 2003 bottle sent to me by goodbyeohio in "These go to eleven...a bif," and it was absolutely awesome.

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky, fig brown color. A thin layer of tan foam covers the beer and the sides of my tulip.

Smell: Light and fruity. Crisp scent brings to mind green apples, cherries, and ripe plums. Slightly chalky, earthy hints of yeast.

Taste: Heavy on dark malts. Smooth caramel sweetness up front, with some fruity notes. Prunes, dark fruit. The foundation is sweet and a little earthy. Lightly sweet, tangy flavors of cherry and sour apple clash with the heavy, chewy richness of the dark malts. The alcohol is subdued in the middle, but it provides some explosive warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A touch light-bodied for the style; it doesn't have the heavy, sticky feel of a St. Bernardus or a La Trappe. It has more body than the average beer, but it's lighter and a little crisper than the average quadrupel.

Verdict: I can't hate anything from Ommegang. I enjoyed this beer, but it didn't fully come together for me. The alcohol isn't as well hidden as it is in other quads, and I didn't think that the lighter fruit flavors were an ideal match for the rich caramel flavor of the malt. A good beer, but not my favorite Ommegang offering.

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.97/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a very strong and intense beer. I didn't really like it just for that reason. Overall it was just to hopy for me. It did have a nice color and feel, however. On another note, I am looking for someone to tell me what book(s) or place will teach me more about what I need to know in order to appreciate beer.

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Photo of clickpush
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pour: 750ml bottle to wide mouth wine glass. Beer is charcoal in color with a thick brown, retentive head that leaves lots of tracings in its wake. Streams of CO2 visible around the outside of the glass.

Nose: The aroma of this beer really grabbed me - steaming fresh bread, bananas, nuts and toffy all combined into a mouthwatering attraction.

Mouth: It enters with strong carbonation and finishes with a bitter swallow. From the time this beer hit my tongue I was enjoying a chewy, fresh bread like beer that warmed my throat as it went down and warmed it further as I exhaled. Has a wonderful lasting taste throughout the mouth and contains peanut and raisin flavors.

This is my first time having this beer and it is immediately among my favorites.

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Photo of czechsaaz
2.75/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aroma is borwn sugary with a bit of sour notes. The cherry aroma is very apparent but there's other yeasty fruit fementation esters too.

Nice garnett/ruby colored, very attractive looking. Big tan head fades quickly but leaves a lasting thin layer.

Kind of treacle flavored malt with pretty stron alcohol flavor. There's some cherry flavor but it seems artificial and doens't really blend well with the other characters. There's some darker malt complexity but there's also a saccrine like sweetness. Flavor is a bit medicinal from the saccrine and what I pick up as cherry extract and not the real deal.

Full bodied and pretty warming in the stomach from the alcohol level.

I guess I'm not the only voice of dissent on this one. I have a hard time getting through a glass of this since I find the blend not very interesting. I'd be more interested in the straight beer from Ommegang.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a chance to try this last night. I had a 2004 mid June last year and was not impressed. this one was a non-corked style 16 oz bottle so I thought I'd revisit given time and the new packaging.

A - Ruby black with a high level of carbonation. Takes a while but the head dissipates with very little lacing.

S - I hate to say it, but cherry cough syrup but a shade less sweet. Definite alcohol presence.

T- Similar to how it smells. Medicinal with some slight cherry notes.

M - not quite syrupy but close to cloying. This is a thick brew which is not necessarily a bad thing but this time it didn't work for me.

D - A sipping beer. I think the smaller packaging is great because 750ml is too much for one person in a sitting IMO.

I think this is a love it or hate it brew. I like many of Ommegang's products but this one will not be on my buy list.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a color I can only describe as auburn. Not much head to speak of but what there is, is colored off white. Nose is full of buttery cherries. Taste is a bit of butterscotch followed by mellow cherry. There's very little tartness. Some about the flavor doesn't gel though. Something seems missing. It isn't bad but I don't find it very pleasing for some reason. Mouth is luscious, thick and creamy. Drinkability is so-so. Its good, but not something I feel the need to follow with another glass. Something tells me that this might be more pleasing with an older bottle. I'll buy one and re-review an older sample.

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Photo of twofattires
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, said it was brewed in 2005. It drank it out of a wine glass.

Appearance: It pours a nice creamy mahogany, with a hint of red when held up to the light. The head is a creamy brown that sticks around pretty well for such a high ABV brew.

Smell: You can smell the alcohol fairly well, as well as some nice malty scents, almost bread-like, and just a hint of the cherry lambic that's in the beer.

Taste: This is quite a powerful and complex beer. More complex than my palate is able to translate. That doesn't mean I didn't like it though. It's got a nice malty flavor, and it seems that (predictably) I tasted most of what I smelled. It's got a nice bready, malty taste, with just a hint of the cherry lambic. It's not a syrupy cherry taste at all. Very classy. At first sip it's very drinkable, not seeming at all like it's ABV would suggest. The finish is a nice, dry and warm, which balances nicely with the slight sweetness.

Notes: This is absolutely a big beer, and not something I'd want to drink too much of. I don't see myself buying this often, but I think it would make a nice "special occasion" beer, or a nice subsititute for red wine.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a frothy white head on top of a deep dark mahogany, VERY ACTIVE CARBONATION, sweet lord this beer is crackling at me.

Smell is of alcohol, deep dark fruity undertones though, cherries abound (similar in this way to Mad Elf) I also detect some hops and malt but not enough to cut through the fruit and alcohol.

Taste-cherries up front, fruity undertones come alive here with mild traces of apple, banana, and even grape for me (not sure if that is correct) followed by a massive alcohol onslaught, this thing doesn't wait to kick as soon as it falls down your throat you feel it.

Mouthfeel is ok, heavy and thick but the alcohol is not hidden, still the fruit does help it out, that kick is wicked though.

Drinkability- a good belgian brew, a sipping beer like any quadrupel, could do without the kick but the fruit flavor is dominant as well making this quite enjoyable.

Overall-yikes, massive beer with lots of flavor but loads of alcohol kick as well, still definitely worth trying, I'd be interested to see what it would have tasted like on its own without the cherry lambic added, but still this is an interesting combonation brew and definitely worth trying. Ommegang really has their shit together.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark foggy purple black in color. Nice white dense creamy head and great retention. Aroma is of mouth watering juicy plums and cherries with sweet yeast, caramel, mocha, and molasis. Taste is full of flavor. Nice and thick too. Chocolate covered cherry syrup, plum, grape and probably some awesome. The lush velvety texture takes control of your mouth. Nice bitter cherry-like finish. Real yummy.

I'm glad I finally picked this up and I will definitely get it again.

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Photo of wedge
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 - Poured from a 750ml.

Foggy reddish-brown with a large frothy tan head that leaves some nice lacing. Estery dark fruit aroma (raisins and cherries) with some phenols - smooth light yeastiness and spice - pleasantly complex and sweet. Big, thick, and smooth in the mouth - rich sweet malts, more dark fruits...mmm...chocolate covered cherries. Creamy and a bit warming.

Another very well crafted belgian-style from Ommegang. So rich and substantial...a truly awesome beer.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very attractive, dark cherry brunette with a tall, stocky, pale yellow head.

Smell: It's amazing what a difference glassware makes. I poured this into a pilsener glass first, just for kicks, and the aroma was bizarre; very earthy, full of glutamates and allspice, remniscent of a Chinese restaurant. I transferred it to a snifter, where it became quite luscious, full of cherries, banana, Scotch whisky, toffee, amaretto, bay leaves, and caramel malts that border on chocolate.

Taste: Subdued pie-like cherries, tangy yeast, spicy hops, smooth caramel malts. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Raw alcohol and hops make this a little rough on the palate. Plus, it's on the thin side and not very chewy. I'd love to try it after a year in the cellar.

Drinkability: Excellent flavor, but quite alcoholic. I'll have no problem finishing the bottle but that will probably be it for me.

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Photo of mcowgill
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Ommegang beers were among the first I drank when I began to explore the world of craft beer. I'm finally getting around to reviewing this. It pours a beautiful clear reddish amber with an offwhite head. It looks to be very carbonated. I can smell the Belgian yeast quality along with raisins and cherries. It seems like a very complex beer...and wow, it is. It's a creamy, full bodied beer with a great spicy quality and a caramel sweetness. It's pretty drinkable considering the ABV and complexity. I will be sure to savor this.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
4.12 out of 5 based on 6,320 ratings.
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