Three Philosophers | Brewery Ommegang

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Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
6,550 Ratings
Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers

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: 6,550 |  Reviews: 2,132
Photo of rebrhrt88
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Haffigwan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BigEasyBeerfan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of tenacioustomato
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Fishbone
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of shebby
4/5  rDev -3.6%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

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

2011 vintage poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip. The beer looks beautiful! It is clear and dark reddish-amber in color with a huge chunky off-white head that has excellent retention. The nose is fruit-forward and gives notes of toast, cherries, apples, and grapes.

The beer is medium bodied, highly carbonated, and very drinkable. The first taste is sweet cherries and some rich, malty notes (like shortbread cookies). At mid-palate, the cherries get tart and the beer takes on a wonderfully appetizing, wine-like acidity all the way to the finish. Despite the nearly 10% abv, there isn't even a trace of alcohol in the flavor.

This is one unique beer. I have never had anything quite like it. It seems to combine the complex maltiness of a quad with the tangy acidity of a kriek. Lots of the maltiness is lost, but it is still delicious. I will keep a couple bottles for a while and see how it ages. My only gripe with this stuff is the price. It must be a difficult beer to make.

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Photo of dspencer714
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of awholtzapple
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of onewetpaw
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Sweet cherry and ripe grape. Minimal pepper and clove. As it warms I get some of the alcohol sweetness I smell in sherry.

A- Deep red tones, almost like a burgundy. Thin yellowish head. Good lacing in the glass.

F- Complex to say the least. Upfront there's a grape and wine-like flavor. Also some mild pepper and perhaps a little clove. No perceptible bitterness. The fruit sweetness is really present, but not totally dominant, such as you see in the Lindeman's Kriek. The malty base beer is here as well. The finish does have a touch of warming alcohol, but no harshness is present.

M- Bright high carbonation. Very full body, but not cloying.

O- A fun beer to experience. A sipping after dinner beer. This could really sneak up on you otherwise. I like having one every once in a while. Certainly a beer that expands horizons.

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Photo of JustinMatthew
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of thekrouse
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of RepMichigan
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of teleman
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of DaveONan
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of EnemyWithin
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1st time: Bottle into Duvel tulip glass on June 30, 2011
2nd time: Bottle into Duvel glass on March 18, 2011

Appearance - 4
Cherry brown/auburn color. ½ inch of yellow brown head that fades into a thin but complete covering. Mild lacing. Visible presence of yeast, offers slight haziness.

Smell – 4
Very prominent fruity and spicy smell from the yeast . Notes of cherries, plum, raisin. Sweet bready smell, almost like a fruitcake. Also notes of brown sugar.

Taste – 4
Starts with a very yeasty, fruitiness and some bitterness from the hops. Transitions so that the spiciness of the yeast comes through with the warmth of the alcohol. Finishes on notes of dark cherries. Leaves a lingering cherry flavor on palate that is a little sour.

Mouthfeel – 4.5
Really excellent. Perfect amount of carbonation to give it crispness, but fullness off body without being overly heavy. Carbonation breaks up the flavors of the beer so that is doesn’t become overpowering. Really a great balance.

Overall – 4
Better than expected when I had it the first time. But the second time I had it, it didn't wow me as much.

As such, I adjusted my scores a bit. Different than most quads I’ve had before, but despite being distinct with the element of cherries, it doesn’t deviate too far form the style to feel unfamiliar. Sneaky, at 9.8%; cannot detect that amount of alcohol by any means. Very easy to drink, but complex and interesting. Worth seeking out.


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Photo of gtown_operator
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of GreatPumpkin
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of PG2G
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Ommegang tulip.

A: Pours a dark ruby red color with lots of sediment floating around in the body. I'm pretty impressed with its head, it's a tan color with decent retention and lacing.

S: It's a bit hard for me to evaluate the smell, but it nonetheless has some notes of cherry, mint, darker fruit, and licorice. I like it, but it's not as complex or intense smelling as it could be.

T: I enjoy its flavors and complexity...but there's something missing. I can't put my finger on it, but there's just something lacking. Even still, it has some nice notes going on, and it improves with subsequent sips. I can taste plenty of raisin, fig, mint, cherry, chocolate, and licorice. Good balance and complexity, but it kind of lacks the 'oomph' I wanted it to have. Still, it's a good sipper to cap the night off.

M: It has a fairly thick body with average carbonation. The yeasty aftertaste lingers nicely, and doesn't get in the way of the rest of the beer.

O: I cant figure this one out. In some aspects, it's a great beer, but in the aspect of simply sipping and enjoying it piece by piece, it unfortunately isn't. There's just something hindering its drinkability. Still a very nice drink, though.

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,550 ratings