Three Philosophers | Brewery Ommegang

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Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
6,559 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: 6,559 |  Reviews: 2,135
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.


 1,470 characters

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.

 1,216 characters

Photo of Jimbolikesbeer
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of robieobie1
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Cheezus
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mitchellaneous
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Hack72
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of warelphant
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear deep amber/copper. Head is khaki and drops to a thin, creamy cap in short order. Nice solid carbonation.

Smell: Cherry, cough syrup, Belgian spice, mint. Slightly boozy. Bit malt component. Chewy biscuits with caramel and even a mild hint of toffee. Red licorice. Sweet and malty with enough Belgian character to give it life.

Taste: Candi sugar and cherry cough syrup. Minty with a touch of something akin to solvent. Malts are just as big as the nose. Deep caramel wrapped around a cherry. Biscuit dough rounds out the back. Sweetness is cloying on a big sip. Belgian yeast adds a peppery clove finish. Lots going on. Dark heavy malts.

Mouthfeel: Big and creamy. A higher than anticipated carbonation prevents it from treading in to syrupy (in large part because of the cherry thing). Creamy too.

Overall: Every time I try this beer I have a different reaction. The first time it was mindblowing. The second time it was a giant piece of crap. This time, it's solid. It's not my favorite by any means, but the ability to blend a medicinal cherry flavor with a Belgian ale is impressive...considering the fact that it never becomes exhausting.

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Photo of intensify
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- One and half finger head into a Tulip glass. Yeast swimming around in the glass and the bottle was kept in a safe minimul movement area. Dark copper colored bottle.

S- Potent smells of the typical dried fruits. Some stick out more then others, such as; plums and raisins. Other aromas include sweet sugar,purple grapes and a small presense of alcohol. One of the strong points of this Quad is the smell.

T- Delicious, complex, bitter and sweet. The sweetness from the grapes and sugar starts this quad up, quickly followed by the more deeper taste of the dark fruits. Alcohol has a bit of presense, but it does not spoil the party.

M- Oily, full bodied, low carbonation.

Overall: Deeply flavoured, aromatic, and full bodied Quad that makes me enjoy every sip. Don't pass the chance to pick this up if its available.

 823 characters

Photo of Sam21
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. Bottled in June of 2010. Poured into a tulip.

Appearance - Ruby hued body with excellent clarity and head retention. A thick moderately creamy cap of tan foam presents very well in the glass.

Smell - The aroma is a rich mix of raisins, fig, a touch of cherry, and a deep brooding malt sweetness. Everything is rounded off by Belgian yeast notes. Wonderful pinch of spice.

Taste - Spicy clove up front with rich waves of malt sweetness that is accented by a lightly tart touch of cherry. The cherry blend is perfectly balanced and adds just enough character. As this beer warms, the dark fruit become deliciously complete and the complexity of the malt leads into a long sweet finish with cherry and spice lingering for a long time. Fig and raisin are the most prominent fruit tones.

Mouthfeel - Light fluffy carbonation accent a medium body. Really pleasant as it warns and becomes a bit more juicy and full.

Overall - This beer is a great dessert by itself. Very rich, complex, sweet, and interesting. Ommegang does a great job with this beer and the nearly two years of age have brought the raisiny sweetness even more to the forefront. The yeasty spice is the perfect accent to this sweetness and really helps this beer shine. Simply fantastic!

 1,269 characters

Photo of cheefdaddy1
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Trumbullout
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of Leschber
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of buddyvelt
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MichaelDobbins
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Bubbalito
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of bluntedboywonder
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of sommersb
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 03-11-2012
Freshness: 2011 Vintage
Packaging: 750 ml brown bottle
Glassware: Ommegang cervoise glass
Purchased: Received as a gift

Got this for Christmas in a gift box with 2 other bottles and the elegant glass.

Appearance: Dark copper color, hazy clarity, with a big off-white head. Retention is good with a beautiful Belgian lace.

Smell: Malty sweet caramel and molasses aromas. Also smells of wood/oak and dark fruits: cherry, raisin and figs.

Taste: Rich and malty, with caramel and brown sugar. Sweet cherries, oak, and ripened dark fruits. Nice Belgian yeast flavor; the beer gets more complex as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with medium to high carbonation. Finishes sweet, malty and rich, with oak and dark cherry notes. The alcohol is hidden well in this beer.

Overall: A rich malty treat; a superb ale I would recommend.

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Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,559 ratings