Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)
6,501 Ratings
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:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,501 |  Reviews: 2,118
Photo of carmike813
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- Pours a murky, ruby red with a big, tan head that dissapates quickly.
S- Sick so I cant smell but my wife says it smells like cherries.
T- Not overly malty. Lots of dark fruits. Cherry and clove comes in at the end.
F- Nice boozyness.
O- W9nderful after dinner.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There are two good inches of dense, fizzy, tan head. Color is a cloudy, dark brown with pale sediment. Wow: rich, tangy nose has dark toffee syrup, chocolate and cherries. The front is tangy toffee, spicy with butter. In the middle there is dark, rich malt and tangy fruit. Lots of alcohol in the finish, with some buried cherries and bitter chocolate. Nice cherries push forward in the aftertaste, with some biscuit and spice. Wow. What a great use for Lindemans Kriek. Delicious, spicy, dark, fruity brew with a quite bitter finish. Brilliant.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a ruddy, rustic brown color. Like some mudwater where the water has lots of iron in it. Like runoff. The yeast floaties don't help. It doesn't look bad, especially not with the two fingers of tan-inflected foam, foam the color of coffee with a lot of milk added.

The aroma was surprisingly... distant and closed. I pick up on the blended cherry sweetness, and there's a bit of raisin. But the malts are mostly lacking. The yeast strain gives off a lot of cloves, but that's it. It's an unrefined aroma, and I wasn't expecting that.

The taste is better: there's a richness to the malt profile that the aroma didn't at all hint at. Caramelized raisins, fruitcake, and cherry candy make for a sweet sipper. The beer lacks pizzazz, though. It lacks tastiness. It has positive flavor components, but they aren't in an optimal balance or level of intensity.

The mouthfeel is pretty spot-on, admittedly. The attenuation level is Belgian-appropriate. The body is in the medium range and lifted up by the active carbonation. It's super-sweet but balanced a bit by the yeast's phenols and spice. Overall, this is an above-average Quad. A damn fine American attempt at the style, but not a great example compared to the revered Belgian inspirations.

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Photo of sleazo
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a ruddy/reddish hue with a thick creamy head that lingers. Decent lacing

S-Deep rich bready, dark cherries, almost winelike

T-Sweet maltiness, and cherries followed up by a sourness that hits you with the aftertaste along with some bitterness. Very nice.

M-Rich, viscous with a nice carbonation level.

D-Dangerously good for the %. This one is a winner and one i will revisit especially with Fresh Direct delivering.

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Photo of OGShotzy
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 corked bottle. Served at refrigerator temperature, allowed to warm throughout the (60 minute) review. Let round one commence:

Pleasantly tart/sour Belgian yeast with massive fruitiness. Vanilla caramel sweetness. Rich maltiness. Minor alcohol. Minor spicy yeast aromas. Smells both soft and sharp.

Dark ruby-tinted brown color, highly translucent. Moderate head with poor retention.

First sip brings a swift tart pucker to the jaws. Follows with delicately soft sweetness that tastes like malt, bread, and sugar (hard to describe exactly, stay tuned for updates). Wild sour flavors dance about the palate and tease the tastebuds. I can dig the cherry, especially really tart cherry. Powdery yeast flavors come and go, as do various fruits that I can't yet pin down. A soft, dull bitterness rises that reminds me of the peaceful earth-grounding tannins in green tea. Cantaloupe suddenly jumps out at me with musty melon flavors. More cherry sensation presents itself in the finish and aftertaste - kind of a fruit skin feeling. More sweetness, still hard to describe.

I just got a taste of hop tartness. Way down deep, hidden amongst the yeast flavors and alcohol, this tartness adds to the already roaring barrage against the malt. The malt, which is still quite shy, holds a steady footing against this attack.

What a kick in the palate! The flavor evolves so quickly and is different on each sip. Fruit, fruit, fruit. Almost makes it taste healthy ;-). Now, on to my second glass and I feel great; let round two begin:

Deep, richer, darker roasted sugar becomes pronounced. Dark and bright fruit too - grape, cherry, kiwi, and so on (maybe it would be easier to list off the fruits that this beer doesn't remind me of). More tannic bitterness juxtapositions itself against the sweet malty malt. With all the tart and bitter yeast and hops working against the seemingly submissive malt and sweetness, one would think the balance was to the former. The balance, though, is quite even (perhaps even skewed a bit towards the malt).

For most of the tasting and sipping I get way more tart, sour, and bitter yeast/hop flavors than I do sweet or malt flavors, but the malt/sweet characters stay fairly constant throughout the entire sitting and the contradictory flavors are constantly changing, jumping around, and evolving in every sip. It's like I'm sitting in a racing malt boxcar watching the yeast/hop scenery go by. At every point throughout the journey, the view is balanced, but when I recollect over the time spent watching the hops and yeast speed by, my boxcar gets lost in the sea of memories.

Medium-to-medium-thick body, ample carbonation.

Final Thoughts-
It's hard to believe this is 9.8% alcohol, because the alcohol flavor/feeling sure is well hidden. I really like that the label tells me strait out that this beer is "98% Ale - 2% Ale with Cherries Added." It's a proud brewer what can boast the blending of his beer.

The Verdict:
A fruity, dark Belgian ale, different with each sip. Time spent interacting with this beer is phenomenally better than time spent just watching tv. The only conceivable downside is that with 1.5875 pints of anything 9.8% abv, one tends to have a hard time logging memories. I had a good time.

 3,294 characters

Photo of Ian_B
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of VncentLIFE
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of stealth
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Walkerjgt
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of udubdawg
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of JakeDebus
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of freshflesh
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of cbl2
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A truly beautiful beer! More red than brown, dark, but crystal clear with a nice tan head that lightly laces the glass.


Cherries dominate followed by an oaky character and an herbal medicianal quality.


There is an interesting battle going on here, with both the belgium style ale and the lambic jockeying for position. In one corner is the sherry like flavor of a fine belgian ale, in the other you have the upfront aggressiveness of the cherry lambic. Superb blending of the two!

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Photo of yamar68
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - first time getting this in the 12 oz four pack, sorta forgot about the sediment, whoops... still looks fantastic, bright crimson, nice clarity and an off-white head that holds throughout

s - cherries, dates, roasty malts, subtle alcohol burn, sweet but subtle... very inviting

t - really just a fantastic beer, all the wonderful complexities of the best Belgian quad - dark chocolate, dark malts, toffee/caramel - with the lively fruit and tartness of a Belgian kriek sprinkled on top - it's amazing the amount of character that the lambic offers to the beer at only a 2% blend

m - velvet, thick and cloying and it allows for the cherry finish to linger, I love it

o - this beer is solely responsible for my love of Belgian style beers, it introduced me to a style that now represents a large portion of my beer budget and I'm just as impressed by it today

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Photo of mrosenfeld32
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of scottoale
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2005, nice corked 750ml. brown bottle. Uncork and slow pour a dark copper-mahogany ale that yields a billowing tan, frothy head that lasts till the finish. The carbonation is lively which keeps growing, tons of thick lacing as well.

First off the nose is cherries, sweet candied cherry with some caramel, cranberry and malt after notes. Very fruity and floral. Very intriguing to say the least.

Rich malty, cherry flavor with a velvety, somewhat chewy consistency fills your mouth...quite savory. Tantilizing the tastebuds all the while, down it with the finish, a bit tart and tangy as well as warming. This stuff has a complexity that's almost overwelming. It just leads you wanting more.

Mouthfeel is great with the full body and superb carbonation that this true to style ale is loaded with. It's the kind of beer that you must drink slowly to appriciate it's abundant qualities (and it's potency) yet the taste keeps you wanting more. Damn good stuff...Cheers !

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Photo of Apellonious
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bomber

A- Pours a reddish brown, cloudy, with a fluffy one finger head

S - bananas, clove, cherry, spices, sugar

T - Malts, dark fruit, mild booze, more of the same as the nose

M - Carbonation is great, heft is spot on

O - There is something sinister here, though it seems to be a pretty straight ahead take on the style. May revisit the review after the 2nd glass.

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Photo of EatonHops
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of wiltznucs
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of CloudStrife
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter. Bottled on 8-2-11 best by 8-2016.

A: Pours a deep ruby color. 1 finger off white head. Lots of visible carbonation and looks like I poured some yeast in too. Head remains an 1/8" until the end.

S: Lots of cherry upfront. Smell of alcohol. Hints of oak wood and other dark fruits. Seem to be able to taste the smell.

T: Strong cherry up front, balanced by belgian yeast. Notes of oak wood in the middle. Carmel/molasses malt finish. Not a big fan of cherries so the best part for me is the aftertaste.

M: Fairly light on the palette. Pretty high carbonation. Smooth and drinkable. Doesn't leave any sticky resins on the palette.

Overall a damn good beer. Not a big cherry fan or I would have rated this a little higher.

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Photo of gruss004
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Barnoloid
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Quad style is not one I am not massively familiar with. I've been keen to delve in so here goes. Three Philosophers pours a deep brown-amber mix with a light redness in there, looks like it should hold a mosquito being used for dna samples in a Jurassic Park franchise movie. It is a seriously fine looking beer. The aroma has a waft of sherry in there. Carbonation is fast and bulbous, tight also. Enjoying the cherry and fig notes that come through as this beer warms. English bonfire toffee and an element of clove come through. The complexity is outstanding, each sip opening something new up, much like listening to one of your favorite Kraftwerk albums on vinyl. The high ABV does not so much give you a burn as much as a warming sense. I wish I had a fireplace to enjoy this next to but to be honest I would drink this anywhere. Top notch.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,501 ratings
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