Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
2,065 Reviews
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,065
Ratings:
6,277
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
20.15%
 
 
Wants:
365
Gots:
1,509
For Trade:
22
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,065 | Ratings: 6,277
Photo of nickfl
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of off white foam on top of a slightly hazy, amber brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves nice lace.

S - An aroma of tart cherries and spicy caramel malt.

T - Tart pie cherries up front with some sweet caramel. The caramel is joined in the middle by toasted grain and spicy yeast. Clove and coriander notes remain though the finish with some increasingly medicinal cherry.

M - medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - This certainly isn't a drain pour, but I am kind of disappointed. I hadn't had this beer in a couple of years and I remembered it being much better than this. The aroma is spot on, but the flavor is dissonant and unpleasant. The spicy yeast character seems inappropriate for a dark belgian and it clashes with the cherry. Maybe it its just that this beer is better in the bottle or maybe it has lost something in the last couple of years, but it seems like a shadow of what I remember it as.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Character is determined more by the lack of certain experiences than by those one has had."

--Friedrich Nietzsche


"Do what is right though the world may perish."

--Emmanuel Kant


"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."

--Soren Kierkegaard


Brewed 2004. Softly glowing coral with ripe orange trim, a beautiful color that reminds me of a tropical sunset in a glass. The Belgianesque head is at least as gorgeous as the beer with its tangerine caramel color and its sticky, whipped frothiness. A meager amount of lace is the only thing keeps the appearance from perfection.

The aroma is musty and funky and spicy and herbal and all kinds of interesting; I just wish that it was more cherry-like. I would never have guessed that that particular fruit was added if it didn't say so on the label. My hope is that the cherry lambic will be more evident on the palate than it is in the nose.

This is fabulous beer! I haven't had too many quadrupels yet, but I've had enough to know what to expect. Three Philosophers is an excellent version with the added benefit of sour cherries. There's so much complexity here that my mouth doesn't know where to start, it just wants to enjoy for a while.

The malt is on the border between heavily toasted and lightly roasted, delivering such flavors as dark toffee, plum pudding, rum-soaked figs and even a little dark chocolate. Can't forget the black cherries. And the raisins. And the ground clove. This beer tastes like liquified dark Christmas fruitcake. It can't possibly become more delicious with warming, can it?

I wish now that I had poured the beer into a snifter. It deserves to be philosophized over because I'm sure that the meaning of life is in here somewhere. I'm enjoying the tartness provided by the cherry lambic, but am glad that it wasn't added with a heavier hand. No sense in turning this stately beer into a cherry fruit beer with quadrupel accents.

The body/mouthfeel is the best of both worlds. There's enough malt on hand to give the beer a mouthfillingness and a finishing stickiness, yet the energetic amount of carbonation keeps things brisk and amazingly supple. Drinkability didn't need any help, but was provided with it anyway by virtue of an outstanding mouthfeel.

I need to revisit what Brewery Ommegang has to offer since I reviewed most of their regular offerings prior to knowing what the hell I was tasting. Still though, it's hard to believe that anything in their oeuvre can compare to Three Philosophers. This is a stunning creation that was a steal at only $5.99 per bottle. I'm seriously considering buying a case because I'm sure that this nectar will age like a dream. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Attractive pour in the St. Bernardus chalice. Dark golden-tinged amber with a full head and lots of lacing. Nice foam with every splash to top up the glass. Mouthfeel is sudsy and rich, with the hot alcohol trickling down your throat.

The dark fruity flavor is definitely there, though it's not my favorite. Some very dark roasted flavors. Malty and scratchy with some non-hoppy bitterness. The long aftertaste is like burnt raisins and gets stronger as you sip. Less of the dry Belgian character though maybe that is more typical for these sweet Quads.

Intriguing, full of character, but not one for sipping more than a small glass at a time. This probably would be better with a bold-flavored snack. From the 750 ml bottle bought at Liticker's in San Diego.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked and caged. A carefull pour renders a clear, reddish-brown body with crimson and orange highlights. An off-white, creamy but short-lived head leaves only very minor lace (possibly due to the high level of alcohol, or maybe the need for some more conditioning). The nose displays dark fruit (raisins, fig) and some alcohol. The medium body is lightened by a moderate, but still gently effervescent (very fine bubbled), carbonation. True to the description on the label, the flavor is rich with raisins and pears; as well as some apricot and slightly tart apple. It's mildly sweet maltiness also lends a nutty quality (hazelnut?) that becomes more obvious in the finish. The alcohol is noticeable, but far from intrusive. It finishes dry with some residual sweet fruity malt. Quite enjoyable. Worth trying.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage bottle, the cave aged edition, I could not wait to dig into this one. It had been sitting in my fridge for what seemed like forever waiting for me to get close to it. Decided to pop it open the other night. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 12/05/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich brown color that was loaded down with ruby highlights that abounded. Huge off white head rose up from the depths and clung to the sides of the glass for what seemed like forever before finally settling back down and relaxing.

The aroma was rich, nice notes of dark fruity yeast, hints of swet cherry notes and an herbal tone that prickled at the nose quite nicely. Rich malts lying underneath provided a nice level of sweetness. The flavor was about as big and rich as you could get. Most of the alcohol was well hidden under rich fruit notes. Huge flavor here that dissolves and transforms with each passing sip. Nice touches of cherry and unique sour notes. Smooth, incredibly smooth with a rich carbonation and velvet like touch to it.

Overall an outstanding beer that was much more tame then the regular version and just a thing of beauty. I was very glad to have tried this one, very glad indeed.

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Photo of chinchill
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.
Sweet aroma.
Flavor. A bit sweet, overall. Some alcohol esters that mix well with the dark fruit and medium roasted malt flavors.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 release acquired with the help of howl1309, so a big "Thank You" goes out him. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of cherries, caramel, brown sugar, some spice, roasted malts & Belgian yeast.

T: The taste likewise has a strong burst of sour cherries that is tempered by the sweetness of caramel & brown sugar. There's a good Belgian yeast background and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is very mild as to be expected any beer that's 5-years-old and particularly in this style. The after-taste is slightly sour.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it's a good high-powered Belgian that adds the tartness of a lambic. Five years might have been a little too long for this one, but it's still worth drinking for a long time.

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

750 ml bottle into chalice, 2011 vintage. Pours lightly hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big apple, pear, raisin, prune, toast, toffee, chocolate, biscuit, cherry, molasses, earth, and yeast spices. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity. Taste of big raisin, prune, pear, pepper, earth, toast, molasses, cherry, toffee, chocolate, herbal, and yeast spices. Lightly tart earthiness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruits, molasses, toast, cherry, pepper, herbal, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Great flavor balance and complexity; with a nice balance of maltiness/yeast spiciness. No cloying flavors on the finish at all. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Quad! Great flavor balance and complexity; and very smooth to sip on. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of mothman
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottle

Poured into smokestack glass

Pours about 1 finger of light tan head. Fades to a thin layer. Not a lot of lace. Color is a ruby copper brown.

Aroma: Fresh cherries, a lot of malts, dark dried fruits, caramel. Just a ton of malts going on here. A very nice aroma for a quad.

Taste: Cherries, malts, caramel, some heat. Very strong. Dark dried fruits. Earthy hops. Very nice, but very dry.

Mouthfeel: Mediudm, almost full bodied, decent amount of carbonation, a little low. Very smooth and creamy, a little hot. Ends with a touch of alcohol in the mouth.

OVerall, a very nice quad. Easy drinking. I loved the cherry flavors in this beer. I split this bottle, but I think I could drink this over the course of an hour or two.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had: at Philly Craft Beer Fest '07

First sampled this on tap at a beer festival. To this day, it remains one of the finest brews I've ever had the pleasure to imbibe. Awesome name, awesome bottle, awesome beer. It's definitely more on the "quad" side than on the "kriek" side, as the cherry taste is more implied than infused, as opposed to other stronger/actual krieks.

Pours a hazy burgundy with a fine, small layer of white bubbles for a head. Complex aroma of yeast, spice, and fruit. Roasty malts in the taste, with flavors of cherry, plum, brown sugar, cloves, and rum. A little boozy, but not harsh. Medium mouthfeel, can be a bit syrupy. Can be enjoyed cold or closer to room temperature. Highly complex, highly recommended.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 2009

A: The pour is a hazed dark amber color with a finger and a half worth of fluffy tan head.

S: Smells like slightly tart cherries and cherry pie. There's some nice caramel and toffee notes as well. A touch of chocolate malt, raisins, and plums, too.

T: A definite alcohol taste to begin with which is followed by cherry skins, raisins, and plum skins. There's a nice maltiness that I would describe as toffee, and a bit of brown sugar. The same subtle chocolate character that was present on the nose.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation.

D: Not quite as boozy and overly intense as I remember, but something I'd still have a bit of trouble drinking a significant quantity of.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Prestentation - An eye catching 12oz brown bottle with a quad colored label: white/black/red/gold apropos for a unique quad.

A - Strawberry blond colored ale when backlit with an eggshell hued head the generates a moderate amount of lace from the appealing microfoam.

S - a mellifluous, unctuous blend of aromas: cherry, spice, belgian yeast, wood and caramel.

M - an extremely active and yet gentle bouyancy is felt. Sweetness steps up, as it fades creamy and bitter textures are felt in the finish.

T -- A spicy yeast flavor gives way to sweet fruit flavors as very subtle cherry tastes are surrounded with effervescence and a sweet tangy essence presents itself with a natural caramel/sugar flavor. Vanilla is another pleasant spice that is interwoven into the enticing tapestry. It is like art in a bottle-subtle shades of tart and bitter combine with hues of sweet and fruity. Only as the ale becomes warm does the alcoholic muscle stretch out and dazzle the palette. A clean but earthy woodiness is experienced which ties in well with the quote imprinted on the label: "Philosophy begins in wonder" I have no doubt of the inspiration for the splendor contained in this ale. The complexity and dexterity of Three Philosophers is a true tribute to the skill of the brewers and blending at Ommegang

D - A great pleasure for my taste buds. Sweet, strong, balanced and complex - a great example of a hybrid of styles done with inspiration and skill. A superb fruit blend with Quadruple punch. Not gentle in heft, but graceful and sophisticated all the while. Perhaps the most drinkable Quad I have had. Versatile to the extreme. Could be poured and enjoyed with desserts or a variety of main courses. A really delicious brew that can be enjoyed easily all by itself.

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Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition

Pours dark burgundy red into my Chimnay goblet with a 3 fingers tan head. Great "Belgian" lacing & very good head retention

Smell: Sourness & then woody, lactic notes.

Taste: Sour oaky notes up front, hints of cherry & choclate follow. Finishes tart & a vanilla oakyness

MF: Medium with a slight spritzyness.

Drinks pretty good, I think this is one to lay down for years. Worth it ($9.00 a bottle)

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a GameWorks shaker pint glass.

Another brew I felt I had to revisit. It pours a ruby-tinted russet topped by a finger of ecru foam. The nose is a menage-a-trois of black cherries, rye bread, and dried wheat. The taste begins with the wheat, burnt this time, then moves into a solid helping of slightly medicinal cherry. If it weren't for that bit o' cough medicine, this would have been great. The body is a stolid medium, with a light carbonation and a somewhat sticky feel. Overall, a solid outing, but falls a bit short of gem status.

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Photo of Jason
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown magnum, no freshness date but this beer will hold up for years to come. The yeast was very loose so about a third of the bottle was left and swirled into a separate glass.

Appearance: Outstanding lacing, clinging action all over the glass. The clouded brown colour leaves a bit of mystery.

Smell: Light medicinal, herbal, minty, and licorice in the aroma. Hint of solvent alcohol and a layered malt sweetness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Heavenly smoothness within the full body, creamy from middle to end. Thickly sweet of dark malts, nothing roasted. Deceiving alcohol leaves little warmth until the finish. Bitter phenols and a trace hop help to balance. Very herbal and a bit earthy as well.

Notes: Drop dead in complexity, a sipping brew and certainly something you would want to pair with rather than drinking it alone. I varied my pairings from a creamy Danish Blue Cheese with water crackers to dark chocolate.

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

A: Pours a dark reddish brown in color with some ruby red highlights and light to moderate amounts of visibel carbonation when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall medium creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits (raisins and cherries) along with some spices. The smell intensifies as the beer warms and the presence of the alcohol can be observed at that point.

T: The flavor is similar to the smell but with a very strong sweet malt body. There is a heavy presence of dark fruits (raisin) as well as a strong amount of cherry flavors. Some light notes of spices can be detected as well. Unique flavor combination.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: This is a really enjoyable beer and was probably my first introduction to the style - I still really enjoy the addition of the cherries. A wonderful sipping beer but this one will sneak up on you.

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Photo of smcolw
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good beige head with light lace. A cross between a dark amber and brown ale in color.

First impression, strong vanilla aromas. The cherry is subtle, but present, in this largely malt smelling ale.

Very strong alcohol oiliness in the taste. The malt appears in the form of mildly sweet caramel. Although a lambic was introduced to this beer, there is none of the sourness associated with that style. Moderate body for this style (which is to say that it is very, very rich) and the carbonation is relatively low.

I'm not typically a fan of this style, but this was a treat--certainly a well made Belgian style ale.

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Photo of billab914
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into my Westy chalice. Murky caramel brown color with a thin, frothy head to it. Nice head retention to it as I drank it.

I get some cherry, raisin and a little grape to the aroma. The Belgian yeast gives it some earthy spice notes. It's got a great mix of lighter, crisp fruits and darker, sweeter fruits. The yeast spice brings it all together, and it comes together pretty perfectly.

The taste shows a little more of the lighter, crisp fruits up front with notes of grape and apple. The finish is where the darker fruits and malty flavors come out with some really good notes of cherry and caramel linger into the finish. The yeast spice is there throughout, but doesn't dominate. Again, the flavors really come together well.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and silky smooth. Carbonation is a little above average. Overall, it's a great version of the style. It's got a great range of flavors and they come together perfectly. Very drinkable and flavorful and a classic version of the style.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage

A: Pours a hazy, dark brown with definite red tones. A slightly off-white, one finger head formed and dissolved to a small layer of foam on top. Thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet cherry aroma, some caramel, and a good bit of dark Belgian yeast.

T: A definite cherry flavor, mixed with some belgian yeast, some caramel, and brown sugar. Not much hop presence as expected and a slight sourness from the cherries.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It is smooth with a slightly sticky finish.

O: A different take on a quad, the cherries change the flavor profile, but in a good way. Sort of a cross between a Belgian and a light lambic/sour. Would be interesting to see it with a few more years on it.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in NJ last weekend. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. 2011 vintage.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with two and a half fingers of fluffy light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for several minutes and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of Belgian style yeast, spices, pepper, dark fruits, cherries, fruity malts, toasted malts, bready malts, and a little bit of molasses. Spice and yeast are up front, followed by the fruit. As it warms up, getting more cherries which is nice.

t - Tastes of spice, pepper, Belgian yeast, cherries, dark fruits, alcohol, fruity malts, molasses, caramel malts, and toffee. Also some light toasted malts and bready malts. Pretty nice.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Little bit of alcohol present, but doesn't make it too hard to drink or anything.

o - Overall a pretty nice quad. It's nice that it is available all over the place and year round, though I wish it was a tiny bit cheaper. At first I enjoyed the taste much more than the nose, but as it warmed up the nose got significantly, as more fruit and cherry came out. Worth checking out, and something I would have again. May buy one to age and see what happens.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber hue nice creamy tan head leaves uneven coats of lacing. Aroma: Strong vinous alcohol infused malts with semi tart hints of Lindemann's Kriek that will only mellow with time. Tones of honey wrapped in mild chocolate this is beautiful, finishes with brown sugar awesome stuff. Taste: The taste is a bit rough shows some signs of being young needs to be put away for a few years, the alcohol shines through pretty bright with chocolate covered cherries. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent Belgian style. Drinkability: Pretty good stuff, by about next year this is going to be so smooth watchout for the 9.8 abv.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clouded ruby with a light tan head. Nose is heavy with sugar and alcohol. Flavor is extremely sweet. Pungent cherry tones. Strong quad tones with that very noticeable cherry lambic presence. Feel is thin. Lacks body and grace. Drinkability stays low due to extreme mix of flavors. Overall it is an “okay” brew IMO. I don’t feel as though it holds any character that helps it stand out against the rest of those of its kind. Ommegang is good, but this time for me they are not good enough to warrant a return to this one.

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

The beer is a pretty shade of ruby with an inch of fizzy, beige head. A lot of cherries in the aroma, followed by Belgian yeast. Smells malty. The flavor is fairly sweet, with prominent cherry juice. Yeast takes a backseat to the sweet cherry flavor. Booze emerges more as I progress through the bottle. Overall, a good beer and one I would have again. That said, this is best only occasionally and in small doses. Cherry flavor becomes a bit cloying midway through. Interesting and worth a try.

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Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml 10th anniversary bottling (2007) poured into a matching glass. The brew appears a perfectly clear ruby to mahogany color with a khaki cap.

Aroma is cherry medicine with slight toasty grain. Herbal and slight solvent alcohol kick.

Tastes herbal to medicinal with cherry pit/skin flavors. Some yeastiness, earth and slight spice and herbal character before getting a solvent feel in the finish.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. A solid brew but starting to show its age.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass.

Appearance - Deep ruby body with an ample off-white head. Two to three fingers at least. Good retention and a smidgen of lacing.

Smell - Banana esters, cloves, some cherries. I feel like the cherries cover the malt aromas that would really round it out nicely.

Taste - Bananas, apple, and cherries again. A very nice fruit flavor that again lacks a bit of depth that some stronger caramel malt would solve. It's certainly more prevalent in the flavor than the taste, but still leaves a bit to be desired. Earthy dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Very highly carbonated that distracts a bit from the flavor. Looking for more of a slick mouthfeel to enhance the depth of flavors.

Overall - Perhaps my review is a bit harsh, because it tastes great. American Quads are always missing just a hint of something, but I love the style, so it's tough to criticize too much.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
92 out of 100 based on 2,065 ratings.
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