Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
6,427 Ratings
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
ommegang.com

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
Ratings:
6,427
Reviews:
2,098
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
11.65%
 
 
Wants:
386
Gots:
1,604
For Trade:
24
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,427 |  Reviews: 2,098
Photo of TamTamIam
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Three Philosophers brewed by Ommegang is a Belgian-style Quadrupel. This beer is brewed with 98% ale and 2% ale with cherries added. It drinks nicely in a chalice. The hazy, bright red, brew swirls into the glass, as the thick caramel head fills it to the rim then dissipates to a small layer of foam. Moderate carbonation rises to the top and releases the fruity aroma with a malty character. Each sip is smooth, and leaves your palate feeling fresh. This beer contains 9.8% alcohol, and you can taste it, but that's a good thing. It adds a nice bite at first, then mellows out gradually. A sweet cherry taste is noted with a good bit of dark Belgian yeast, followed by an unsweetened cocoa finish. Three Philosophers is a slightly different take on the Quad, but is a very well balanced beer. I would highly recommend it if you want something dark, fresh, and easy to drink.

(Forgive me if this sounds redundant. This is a copy of the review I wrote for the Village West Discount Liquors newsletter, Kansas City, KS.)

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Photo of aleckpa
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into my Chimay chalice.

A- Murky brown, like a dark iced-tea. slight head at first, looks like egg shell white. goes away shortly, and leaves a nice lacing throughout.

S- I smell raisins, figs, and a whiff of a granny smith green apple.

T- Sweet matly flavors. I taste raisins, sugar, caramel, with alcohol. It's not overwhelmingly sweet, however.

M- Creamy and full. Lot's of carbonation that tingles the tongue and throat. But, very very smooth.

O- I was expecting this to be sweeter and more distinct flavors. However, this wasn't the case, in my opinion. It isn't as sweet as say, Rochefort 10. It's a good beer in the end.

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Photo of ajcobb24
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Ommegang Three Philosophers is very dark, not black like some breakfast stouts, but dark nonetheless. About a finger of head with an aggresive pour. Some stickage to the sides of the glass as it is swirled around.

Smell - Sweet, malty aromas with a hint of raisin and plum. Not the most overpowering smell in the world and not as strong as some other Quadrupels.

Taste - Overall, the taste was pretty underwhelming. The initial taste was a slight bitterness which transitioned into sweet near the end of the sip. With some retro-nasal breathing you could taste the raisins and plums and some maltiness. Maybe a slight caramel flavor too. Fairly complex taste.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. Not much carbonation and very smooth. Could not feel the affects of the abv. until after I had drunk nearly the whole 750 mL bottle.

Overall - It was good, but not great. I have had better Quadrupels (from Rochefort) and better overall beers (Hopslam). The taste was very similar to the other Quadrupels, but not as strong and not nearly as sweet and pleasing near the end of the sip. I am going to be trying th Ommegang Abbey Ale next; let's hope that one blows me away.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (2010 year) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Very slow pour gave a ruby red slightly hazy beer with a very light tan foam across the top. Tiny delicate islands and lacing...although the lacing slides down a bit over time and doesn't stick to the glass that well. The bubbles near the surface keep coming up and building the foam back up as it slowly dissipates. Great looking beer.

Smell: Malt and a hint of phenol with cherry - but the cherry is what you would get with a backed tart or a crumble. Not medicinal, not overpowering, but just right. It's an accent at the end which makes the beer smell oh so very good. With a swirl though the cherry gets mixed up with some other sour smells - not as good then. Better when the foam dissipates a bit.

Taste: Definitely a Belgian quad. Malt is complex - with some caramel and sugary flavors, but there is some sour here, and the cherry is well in that sour flavor. It's that tart/sour cherry that you get when you bite into a fresh cherry that would typically be used for baking. Alcohol very well hidden. The smell and the taste are not connecting for me though...I'm expecting something sweeter based off the smell. Don't get me wrong, I like this, it's just a sensory disconnect.

Mouthfeel: Spicy carbonation on the tongue, but velvety smooth. There is some clinging sensation to the teeth though.

Overall / Drinkability: A slow sipping beer for savoring by itself, although I think it would work well with dessert. Interesting beer and worth trying out. Really impressed with the appearance and smell, but more sour than I expected.

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Photo of MadCat
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with a 2010 date on it poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, voluminous golden brown head that dissipates slowly leaving good lacing.

Smell: Fruity, plums, cherries, a little grape, sweet malts, a little booze, anise

Taste: Fruity, with tart cherries up front, some plums and a little grape, some sweet malt, some anise, and some earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Full body, high carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, dry finish

Overall: Excellent rendition of a classic Belgian style, honestly I think this is better than Rochefort 10. Lower abv probably helps it not get too boozy.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.26/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Vintage 2011.

Same appearance as it's younger abbey ale sibling. Body color is a great dark ruby and somewhat clear. Snapping noises come from the bubbles of the head. Seems to leave a good puck as well on the top.

Mild cherry, malt muted, very similar to regular abbey ale but seems a little thicker... perhaps bolder. I was hoping for something more pronounced but it's just not happening.

Taste is virtually nearly identical to it's sibling, with maybe a hint of chocolate milk on the finish. I am missing or not getting the fruit background off this at all, or a big malt caramel back bone for a quad. Somewhat milkshake like in body with a little fizz which is a classic touch, but missing the flavor punch I think needed for this style.

Overall I am not really that impressed by this quad, but it's certainly a good passable brew. Not for me.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While not a huge fan of dubbels, I really appreciate a good quad. This is a fantastic beer in my opinion, and the cherries make it all come together.

A - Pours a deep, murky ruby-mahogany with a two finger golden tan head. Good retention on the head with very sticky lacing.

S - Roasted malt and dark cherry with a good amount of bready character. Some brown sugar and alcohol in the aroma as well.

T - Sweet and fruity initially and then toasty tasting with a dry, slightly grassy finish. Cherry taste is fresh and tart. Hints of chocolate and caramel become more noticeable as the beer warms. Very rich and sweet with noticeable alcohol.

M - Creamy and moderately carbonated. Slightly slick on the lips.

D - This one should be a sipper, way too flavorful and potent for me to session. Spread out over the course of a half hour you really start noticing the other rich, intersting flavors that have been blended together here.

A really good quad overall and well worth trying.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang Three Philosphers

Appearance: cloudy dark red, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: strong wheat and yeast.

Taste: wheat, yeast, and cherries.

Mouthfeel: medium and smooth.

Overall:
This is a very nicely balanced brew. The cherry flavor is minimal, but in great balance.

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Photo of jera1350
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely ruby color with a thick cap of pillowy tan foam with great retention.

Rich and complex fruit fills the nose. Plenty of fruit, caramel and malt sweetness with some honey and belgian yeast notes.

Very deep and complex taste. Dark fruit, molasses, caramel, toffee, bitter hops, buckwheat honey and some warm rum-like alcohol. It's all there.

Dry and pretty close to full bodied. Feels a tad undercarbonated, but lends to a very smooth feel.

A very well rounded quad at a decent price. It's not mind blowing, but it will not be a disappointment at all.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Three Philosophers: a beer that has intrigued me for quite a while. I love Duvel, and I’m more than happy to be trying anything from their line. Thanks to Bill from Kahn’s on 86th, whose trade for this has been the highlight of my beer journey so far!

A: Pours a thick, gorgeous red. Like Duvel, the head is foamy and white, rising very quickly to make a big first impression. Although it fades after only a few minutes, it’s huge out of the gate – you definitely can’t be too aggressive with your pour. I also can make out a few bits of yeast leftovers in the bottom of the bottle, and the bottom of my tulip. These guys definitely know the unfiltered glory that makes a Belgian a Belgian.

S: Hmmm; a modest dryness in the nose presents a merlot sort of feel. In fact, given a blind smell test, I’m sure most people would identify this as wine instead of beer. The cherries are subtle, but hard to miss, providing a sweet ambience to a rather heavy alcoholic presence.

T: This is one hell of a sweet quad. Like Duvel, the malts are a ripe, tangy testament to Belgian quality. The yeast tries to overtake the palate after the malts have their moment, and it does give a slight estery pronouncement. However, it is soon pushed out of the way in favor of a Kriek cherry kick. And the best part is, it’s real – the cherry is genuine flavor, not the overly-sweet cherry tastes that you find in candies and pie fillings. Now, it’s not quite the flavor of the freshest fruit, but it’s definitely enjoyable.

M: Goes down unbelievably smooth, and even has a distinct warming on the first few sips. It’s probably due to the softness of the carbonation, but I don’t feel like I’m drinking a quad at all. It’s good, but it suffers from the tragedy of easy-drinking beers: causing me to drink it faster than I expected! Damn, where did the rest of that bottle go?

O: To me, this is every bit the little brother of Rochefort 10. It’s great, but not quite as thick, not quite as warming, not quite as flavorful. It’s more of an everyday beer, and I’m more than ok with that. If I ever, and I mean EVER find this on-tap, you can be sure that I’ll be at least two or three glasses deep by the end of the night. This stuff is great.

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Photo of jifigz
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: A dark rich mahogany red/brown with a small cream/white head that dissipated fairly quickly. Some yeast sediment that seems suspended.

S: This brew has a thick cough syrup like cherry smell. The ethanol is noticeable in the aroma as well.

T: The cherry cough syrup and ethanol that are in the nose are most certainly evident in the taste as well. The aftertaste is alcohol and sweetness blended together.

M: This is a pretty heavy feeling beer in your mouth. The carbonation feels very minimal and the beer feels thick and viscous.

O: I don't overly enjoy this beer. The reminders I get of a cough medicine totally taint the quality of this beer for me. I believe it is a well crafted beer and very respectable, but I just don't go crazy over the taste. I wouldn't mind if I never had this one ever again. This is my second time with it and I remember not enjoying it very much the first time.

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

A nice quad, this beer right here. While I'd assume never to mess with a quad recipe, this blended beer is perddy good.

Pours a muddy-water brown, murky, rich. Nice thick off-brown head. Darn good looking. Filmy streaks though

Aroma is cherry and banana. Some baked caramel and dark chocolate. Some earthen spices and rich orchard fruits.

The cherry is there in the taste, but leaves the tannin quality behind. Thus we get the 'meat' of the cherry, dark and just a hint tart. The banana fades and the earthy spices come in, some nutmeg and soaked raisin. Dark plum subtleties on the end. Alcohol is fairly well hidden, but does come in on the end.

Very nice quad, perhaps a touch on the "too fruity" side--if I had to pick something

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

Got a 4 pack of these off a friend.

Pours a deep dark brownish red. Nice thin fizzy head. Aromas of yeast... dark fruit and spice. Cherries in the background too. Almost reminiscent of Mad Elf, but in this one, the cherries are a little more subdued.

Tastes great. Tastes like a typical dubbel I think. But it has those cherries in the background that adds that layer that makes this good. The cherries give a nice subtle tart surprise. Alcohol is warming, but really is hidden well for 9.8%.

Overall, a nice beer. I could drink a lot of these and find myself in trouble!

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

Wow another brew that i dont see too often im loving this lately anyway the brew pours a semi see through mahogany hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head that quickly recedes to a few islands of froth,the smell is aromas of whiskey,cherries,peated malts,brown sugar and alcohol,the mouthfeel is very smooth medium bodied and well carbonated and has tastes of whiskey soaked cherries,xmas pudding,dark fruits,peaty malts and finished with a sticky date finish and overall a very unique drop and very true to style.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip.
First impression is a bit of a letdown. Color is an average brown with a bit of amber tint. Small film of head forms and laces a bit. Smells fruity and sweet with a bit of must. Has a classic Belgian feel to the nose. Palate is sweet and tart with alot of different flavors meshing well. Cherry and spices from the yeast come to the forefront and the alcohol is felt in the finish. Medium bodied with a dry mouthfeel. Very flavorful and quite drinkable for a beer of this strength.

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Photo of birdman200
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark cherry color, 1 finger creamy head, sticky lacing.j
S: Dark chocolate and cherries, slight alcohol burn.
T: Sweet, but nice balance with malt. Interesting dry after taste. Cherry flavor may be a little too much for my liking.
M: Almost like a cognac or brandy mouthfeel.
D: Very nice, med-large bodied beer. Sip slow, enjoy cherry flavor to fullest.

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

A- Pours an almost red copper tone with an off white head that dissipates to leave some lacing.

S- Smell is of sweet malts and some dark fruits along with a hint of cherry.

T- Sweet taste along with some dark fruit flavors and I get a bit of the cherry flavor as well as a slight bit of spice on the finish.

M- Medium bodied beer with nice carbonation.

O- A good quad that has some great flavors of dark fruit. The cherry comes through and is balanced nicely with a slight spice.

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

12oz bottle into Ommegang tulip: 2010 vintage.
A: Pours a frothy two finger head, that grows out the top of the glass rim. The body is a reddish copper, with a very lively carbonation. The lacing is left in large sheets of sticky lace.

S: Deep caramel malts of classic Belgian Quad, with hints at figs and raisins. Hints pf cherry play well in the aroma as well.

T/M: An underlining Kriek note and subtle tart sourness. Body is nice and light for this style and very drinkable. The majority of this beer is quad sweetness, notes of plum light spicy character are found.

O: This is a great brew, and for the style and ABV, it is remarkably smooth, solid beer.

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Photo of BigDRS
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle reads "PKG on 2/22/11"

Appearance - Pours a deep reddish/brown with about a fingers worth of head. Retention and lacing are both sub-par. Carbonation isn't very visible.

Smell - Dark cherries, brown sugar, and a bit of chocolate come through. The nose is a bit medicinal though ... a bit off from what I'm expecting.

Taste - Really thick tasting and the cherry flavor comes across pretty strong throughout each sip. It starts out really deep with strong malt and fruit flavors, then towards the end it really opens up and the alcohol reveals itself. Although the alcohol does show up, this beer does a really good job of hiding the fact that it's nearly 10%. It also leaves a bit of a tart/dry taste after each sip which I find to be really nice.

Mouthfeel - Again, this is really thick tasting. Carbonation is excellent.

Overall - A really great beer. This brew had the pleasure of being my first quad a few years back ... always a nice treat whenever I drink it.

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

A - Pours a somewhat clear brown with ruby highlights. Lots of head, very slow to leave and starting to get chunky. Leaves lots of cling lace.

S - Nice deep malt, juicy fruit and cherries.

T - Deep malt, right up front. Belgian yeast comes next followed by cooked cherries, very light. Bitters out well.

M - Rich, creamy, medium to full, good balance and not over the top on any particular element.

D - I like this one.

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Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a bottle with a history. It's the very first bottle I picked up off of a store shelf with the specific intention of aging; so it's a bit of a historic bottle around here. Vintage 2007, popped open on a sultry May evening with heat, humidity, & wild storms all around. I slept through our four hours of Minnesota spring, I guess. Sticker says 7.49. Ha! Bet it's gone up significantly since '07.

Pours coppery red, carefully, carefully, to not let out the quad-mud at the bottom of the barrel. Smell pours forth from the open neck of the bottle; cherries, sweet sugar gum. Little licorice & tart, too.

Three Philosophers is good fresh, but this aged bottle has notched it up a level. The cherry is succulent, ripe, with an razor-edge of tartness that's much needed. Rock-candy sweetness anchors the cherry. Garden of Eden mix of fruits, both light & dark, with a nod towards the bananas. Bank-shot of yeast, & I believe it's the yeast that lends a flick of allspice. Mouthfeel is where this is at, very light & approachable for a quad. I'm draining my half of the bomber rather quickly; maybe drink a bit more water when it's 90 & I'm sweating out at third base. Nah.

Well, this beer could definitely go longer. I'm only sad I don't have a fresh one to bust open & compare, but that's not a very good idea on a school night. "Sorry, can't come in today, too much Philosophizing last night..." Hey, that might work! Excellent quad.

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

Tasted April 29th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip

A - an opaque blood red/dark brown. Two finger deep tan head

S - sweet yeast, molasses, fruity hops, alcohol, baking spices, toasted malts and some wheat like notes

T - alcohol, oak, toasted malt and grains, yeast, molasses, slight hops pretty fruity, spices and more alcohol

M - sticky, nice acidity, long finish and very well balanced

D - for being almost 10%, this beer is highly drinkable. Awesome for it's genre

Final thought - this beer has a nice ABV, great taste and is very well balanced. Great beer

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009

Poured into tulip glass...

A: a muddy brown color with a decent irish cream color head.

S: german chocolate cake, raisins, chocolate covered cherries, maple syrup and vanilla. some bourbon-like booze aromas in the background. finishes out almost like it has been aged in oak whiskey barrels.

T: just as rich as the nose. raisins and vanilla up front, then more chocolate covered cherries that follows into the woodsy, sweet, and boozy finish.

M: medium full and velvety smooth. becomes bitter and increasingly dry when the wood flavors hit in the finish. adds another dimension to the entire profile of the beer.

Overall, a big, hearty beer only intended for the wise. I tend to stray from most fruit, spiced, or lambic beers so i haven't tried this one due to the fact that cherry ale is added. If you have been doing the same, you owe it to yourself to try this one. I plan to compare this one to the 2010 and 2011 i have.

2010

Poured into chalice...

A: poured slowly, it shows a big fluffy tan head atop a murky mahogany body. head settles really slow leaving lace.

S: rich aromas of sweet caramel and belgian candy sugar, roasted nuts, and a cherry cola aroma. only a light tingle on the nose hairs from the high alcohol

T: again, very rich, sweet brown sugar flavors up front, with a bittering woodsy character melding together with a hint of liquor soaked black cherries, finishing out sweet with flavors of dark fruit.

M: lush and full bodied upfront, countered by a soda pop-like fizziness, then finishing slick, warm, and off dry, and adding to the complexity of the flavor profile.

Overall, this version seems to be more boozy than the 2009. I say "seems to be" because I did not check the notes from my 2009 before I reviewed this 2010, and I did the 09 review several weeks ago. One thing this version shares with the 09 is the ability to improve as the beer temp rises. Good Stuff!

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip. 2010 vintage.

A: Pours a light chestnut brown with two fingers of pale tan head. Excellent retention and solid lace.

S: Mostly banana, some nutty aroma (pistachios?), and cloves. Nice. Vinous quality emerges about half-way through.

T: Vinous, with cinnamon. Pears join in. Not getting the cherry at all, but not missing it, either-- it's quite good. After a bit, some semi-sweet chocolate enters, also brown sugar. Now vanilla. Great complexity, yummy flavor

M: Extremely creamy, fantastic. Every quad should feel like this. Lasts until the very end-- oh yeah.

O: Quite nice. Very different take on the quad style, but very satisfying and worthy of revisiting often. Ommegang always does well, and this is no exception. Take note, the mouthfeel is truly oustanding, and that really helps the flavors come through.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
4.12 out of 5 based on 6,427 ratings.
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