Three Philosophers | Brewery Ommegang

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Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
6,536 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: 6,536 |  Reviews: 2,127
Photo of SaintJonah
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of nanobrew
3/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of vicsju1991
4/5  rDev -3.6%

5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of garuda
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of Pahn
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of brewskifan55
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: opaque, amber; 1 finger head that dissipates; decent lacing

Smell: heavy cherries; funky Belgian fruity goodness.

Taste: cherries dominate; figs, raisins, Belgian yeast. Alcohol creeps in. Chewy finish.

Mouthfeel: heavy; sits on the tongue and carbonates like a bubble factory.

Overall: smooth, warming. A great dessert beer. Those 3 philosophers really put their heads together for this sublime taste.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

A: Deep ruby/blood red. Two finger light tan, very creamy head with amazing retention and great lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruits. Plums, raisins, figs. Light cherries. Light molasses. Touch of brown sugar. Slight spice. Some ashy notes. Lots of booze.

T: Brown sugar an molasses upfront. Cherries come through much more in the flavor than the aroma. Raisins, figs, and plums. A touch of the spice. Again lots of booze but no alcohol burn.

M: Medium body. Medium high carbonation. Slightly creamy, slightly crisp. Medium dry finish.

O: A decent beer. I'm not real versed in quads but I would probably buy this again.

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Photo of Guden
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Medium brown with a billowy tight head.

S - Cherry, candy, caramel and alcohol. Good but I'm not blown away.

T - Wow. Strong alcohol blends in and is mellowed out by candy, cherry, caramel, mild bitterness and a hint of sourness. Its definitely exciting and varied.

M- Somewhat reminiscent of a Scotch ale in terms of feel with high alcohol and yet moderate thickness and a good dose of creaminess.

D- Its exciting and different but far from the best I've had. And it certainly doesn't take many of them to feel it.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - 2011 Edition

Appearance - The beer pours a brown colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some fair lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Butterscotch, malts, raisins, yeast, spices, earthiness

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of dark fruit.. cherries, and raisins, mixed with malts and a bit of banana. There is also a yeasty/medicine like flavour going on. It ends with a dark fruit slightly tart aftertaste.

Overall – The alcohol was very well hidden and the beer was very drinkable. The taste seemed well balanced, but it didn't blow me away as much as I expected it to. It just seemed to be missing a little something in the taste and mouthfeel department. Regardless, it's still a very very good beer.

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Photo of ahq514
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark amber/brownish color. Pours a huge head that eventually dissipates after awhile to a nice healthy finger or so of head. Lots of tiny bubbles slowly rise to the surface, seems moderately carbonated. Light lacing occurs.

Aroma is fairly complex. Strong and sweet malt hit right up front followed by complex dark fruits and cherries. Can't detect any noticeable hop aromas. Real slight alcohol aroma.

Up front taste is sweet dark malt with Belgian yeast characteristics, ie dark fruits, a little bit of spiciness too. This transitions nicely into a little bit of cherry tartness. Warming alcohol on the end and more Belgian yeast flavors.

Mouthfeel is right on. Moderate carbonation, full bodied.

Haven't had a ton of quads, but I would say this is better than some of the others I've had. Really think they hit the mark with the cherries. Nothing too much, but a nice complement to the beer. Would love to try an aged one.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle from 7/14/11, poured into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a very deep caramel hue, with ruby red throughout. A 1.5-finger frothy light brown head with very tight bubbles forms, leaving sheets of soapy lacing around the glass. Wonderful retention. The only thing holding this beer back from visual perfection is the rather significant amount of suspended yeast.

The aroma is very sweet and fruity. It's a somewhat artificial, cloying syrup smell, but it's still very pleasant. Plums and prunes, but little to no cherry presence. A touch of bready malt. Vanilla.

Cherries really take center stage in the taste. It's a very natural flavor, with a sour twang that offsets the dark fruit sweetness. Lots of bready, biscuit malt. Unfortunately, the alcohol is not particularly well-hidden. There is an astringent bitterness in the finish that is also pretty unappealing.

Carbonation is on the high side, this would benefit from slightly less effervescence. I enjoy the medium body, but the carbonation is distracting.

One of the best American quads I've had. This remains largely faithful to its Belgian counterparts, but the addition of cherries is a pleasant tweak. I'm curious if this would indeed hold up until 7/2016, as Ommegang suggests on the bottle.

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Photo of korguy123
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz 2010 vintage into snifter.
Review from notes.

A- Hazy brown/copper with rich ruby red hue. Finger width light beige head just sits there minding it's own business. Lacing is sheeting.

S- Sweet dark fruits. Tart cherries, Belgian yeast, faint cloves and all spice. Brown sugar and vanilla sweeten the mix. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. Almost has a butter tart aroma to it.

T- Typical quad (stone fruits and sugar) Yeast, cloves, and faint cinnamon. Cherries are sweet with a quick tart finish. Warming alcohol is minimal.

M- Creamy and silky with a low carbonation. Slight warming from the alcohol.

O- This is an excellent style representation with a new twist. It's a go to in the fridge and I have several in the cellar for years to come.

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Photo of Stocean1
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a two finger head from a big bottle into a tulip, nice orange cherry colour, quickly down to a nice collar of foam.

Smell is yeasty, cherry, sweet tarts.

Taste follows the nose with some malt and dark fruits.

Mouth is medium body with little carbonation, not overly bitter but tart and dry.

Overall a great brew with plenty of complexity and one I will always grab when I can. The abv is well masked although it comes through in your head during the second half of the bottle.

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

My second quad, I really enjoyed it!

A: Opaque, orange bodied brew that produced a single fingered head with decent retention from a hard pour into a snifter glass. Was glad to see some nice strings of lacing wrap the glass following each sip.

S: Had a cold so my nose was a bit stuffed, but I was able to detect some dark fruits and herbs, with hints of spice on the tail end.

T/M: Lots of fruits, with a great undertone of spice. Sweet caramel malts back up the fruit and accompany nicely, a slight burn from the alcohol resonates on the tongue after each sip of this medium/heavy brew.

O: I really enjoyed the experience and am now more interested to try more of this variety.

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Photo of zimm421
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Appears a dark copper color, that is almost brown. Has a nice three fingers of head. The head is tan and thick and has decent staying power.

Nose is full of sweetness. Notes of dark fruit, some cherries and the nice heavy malts. There is some spiciness, but nothing that noticeable. Taste is very sweet upfront. Lots of dark fruits, cherries and sweet, dark malts. This is what dominates the flavor. Not a lot of balance, but it does finish with some tartness from the fruits.

Mouthfeel is medium to medium-full with that nice smooth carbonation feel that also leaves a little bite on your tongue. Overall, a good brew. Not the best quad I've ever had, but still satisfying. The cherry adds an interesting note to the beer. Definitely worth having around.

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Photo of MsRif
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on-tap as well as bottled. Had from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. Poured a burgundy color with a bit of haze to it. Small head that mostly receded, leaving minimal lacing. Aroma of spices, fruit, yeast, roasty malts and just general goodness. Tastes of dark fruits, primarily cherries and plums. Notes of brown sugar, yeast and spices. You can taste the alcohol a bit, but not much.

Medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Well-balanced brew that is drinkable. I also love the design and name of this one. I'll have more of it in the future, I'm sure. Recommended!

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: This is an awesome looking beer. It pours a solid brown with deep red, sort of purple, and beautiful garnet hues. Light bubble streams rise from the bottom to give it an inviting and lively appearance. Its huge, and I mean massive, light khaki colored head leaves solid lacing and has great retention.

S: Sweet dark fruits (plums, dates, and of course cherries) and your typical belgian phenols provide the foundation for the aroma. A bit of sweet malts and a slight medicinal scent round out the aroma, while a significant touch of alcohol finishes it off.

T: The taste is very similar to the aroma with significant sweet cherry and dark fruits. Belgian yeast is also noticeable with a bit of alcohol at the end.

M: This is very smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation. It is medium bodied and leaves a slight alcoholic warming effect.

O: This is a very solid example of a quad. I particularly enjoyed the role of the kriek in this one to give it that dark fruit and cherry input. I will definitely revisit this when I can get my hands on it.

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

A - Dark red, burgundy heavy body that was poured slowly into a chalice. Gave a little bit of a head with an impressive ring. Some yeast sediment slowly orbits around within the glass.

S - Strong cherry and wooden tones with a robust sweetness and very pushy pungent alcoholic aroma.

T - Dark plum and cherry of course - all the fixings of a solid Belgian quad. A warm, yeasty characteristic in the backbone with a soothing yet rather strong finish in alcohol.

M - Yeasty, soothing creaminess that persists the whole way.

O - A very valuable Belgian like all of the other beers from Ommegang. A true sipper that some may find a little difficult to get through, especially a 750ml bottle. If I had known what this would have taken, I would have shared with someone else.

Save for an occasion with others, and spread the happiness of this great beer.

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Photo of mooseo
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip. 2011 bottle.

A - Dark ruby brown with a modest tan head.

S - Plum, black cherry, and other assorted dark fruit. Some booze and malt in the aroma too. Nice!

T - Sweet malts and dark fruit hit the palate first, followed by a tart cherry and caramel like flavor. Has a strong malt backbone that lingers on into the aftertaste. I'm definitely picking up the alcohol, but the overall taste is balanced and delicious.

M - Medium-full bodied, creamy, and smooth. Moderate carbonation with warming alcohol. Dry finish.

D - Three Philosophers is an exceptional beer/Belgian Quad. It's easy to drink, has a complex flavor, and is extremely enjoyable. Great brew.

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

The beer poured a lovely ruby red color that seemed to change shades every time it moved in and out of the light. There was a nice off white and somewhat pink head that soon turned into a skirt around the glass.

The aroma was a dark rich malts with a slight hint of fruit and Belgian yeast.

The beer tasted wonderful. It was complex as rich malt flavors provided a backbone that included molasses, dark fruits, and raisins. It was accented nicely by a fruity cherry taste and left my pallet begging for another sip and warmed by the alcohol.

Overall this was a wonderful beer that you could sip on for hours as the flavor profile changes as the beer warms.

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Photo of firedog23
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a see through glass of cylindric proportions.

Just when you think you love beer you find something that redefines your love of beer.

Pours a ruby red with a slight head. Nose has an obvious fruit smell but not overpowering. Tastes of heaven, cherries and a strong malt presentation. Continues to change with temperature and should be shared with friends and family. This beer is a great presentation of Belgium style beers brewed in America.

I hope the Flemish have found this one.

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Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,536 ratings