Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)
6,482 Ratings
Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,482 |  Reviews: 2,114
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unbelievable, they say it couldn't be done. But it was. I tasted both the lambic and the belguim ale, and they mixed well. Two for one. Dark and carbonated, fruity, yet dry. I had so many great tastes in my mouth I felt like I never tried beer before. And one bottle, 750ml, will do you. Any more and lights out. A perfect feeling.

 331 characters

Photo of NickLovesBeer
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Three Philosophers comes in a 750ml brown bottle corked and caged with no freshness date in sight.

Three Philosophers pours a rich and cloudy brown with a nice size tan head with fantastic lacing. The smell of cherries and sweet malts dominate. The taste is unbelievably complex, rich and full bodied with a distinct cherry finish. This brew masks its alcohol content incredibly well, so much so I could drink it all day.

 425 characters

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

enjoyed from a growler from Half time in Poughkeepsie
Growler sat in my fridge for about a month (they said it would only be good for a week, Ha.)
very dark, very flavorful, wonderful taste, mouthfeel and long finish.
Nice lingering cherry finish. Srong malt, candi sugar and burnt fruit flavors. Exceptional creation in brewing, seek this one out if youre a Belgian lover.

 373 characters

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

This was a great find. The ale poured a hazy bronze color with a relatively thin head. The aroma was unique. Earthy tones, cherries, other fruits, and lovely sweetness were easily detectable in the nose.

The flavor was exceptional and complex, as sweet malt and cherries were most dominant, but some spiciness and bitterness rounded out the flavor. Alcohol was slighlty noticeable. Flavors slighlty changed while the ale warmed during the session, keeping this a very interesting beer rating session.

Very smooth mouthfeel. The malt and cherries rode the tongue after swallowing for a short time. A slow drinking ale.

 624 characters

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

Brewed 2003, 750 ml

Nose: hints of caramel and bourbon soaked cherries.

Nice white head subsides to a reddish amber colored liquid that is redolent of dark, berry filled forests and pathways strewn with mulch and wildflowers. As far as fruit flavored brews are concerned, this stuff blows away that insipid Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic that I tried last week. (Just thought I'd add that bit.) An interesting and very nice beer indeed.

 438 characters

Photo of jahred
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm sooo glad I picked up 3 bottles of this brew while back east, even though carrying them around was a huge pain.

The beer is a beautiful reddish dark brown color, with a nice very lacey head. Smells of malt and dark, sour cherries. This beer could be interesting.

Tastes mostly at first like a dark brown ale, not necessarily Belgian in style (though I don't mind). I get malt, caramel and chocolate. Quite, quite rich. And then, there it is, in the aftertaste. It is. Sour cherries. That is amazing. The cherry taste gets a bit stronger as the beer warms, but always exists only in the aftertaste.

I could drink this stuff for hours and hours. I'd be really toasted by the end of the evening, but quite happy.

 722 characters

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

It pours a deep, clear ruby, with amber highlights at the edges. A dense, lush head, light tan, builds quickly and retains well, slowly dropping to a plush carpet of foam. Frothy, delicate lacing winds lazily along the sides and length of the glass.

The malt sweetness hits right away in the aroma, but it's just as quickly overshadowed by citrus and clove. There's some honey, and spice notes reminiscent of those in mulled wine. Apple and cherry lurk sneakily within the vapors.

Again, the solid malt flavor gives way promptly to a honey sweetness well tempered by oranges and a clove/coriander one-two. Cherry and apple notes assert themselves in the middle of the sip, delivering a sweet tanginess. The finish fades from a complexity of flavors to a yeast champagne tartness. The alcohol lurks but never truly steps forward. I even noted, in some pleasantly strange way, the flavor of mustard spice at the back corners of my mouth. I will say that with all the taste elements it takes a little effort to keep track of just what's going on.

It's medium bodied, and the heavy carbonation dances on the tongue, like little flavor-packed fireworks, bringing a bubbly glow to the overall feel.

Simply, it's as interesting as the name would suggest. Sweetness, tartness, and tanginess are all well-represented here, and to top it all off, you could even call it savory. The ABV glows more than genuinely impacts, but it's there and it does its work well and fully. I have another bottle I'd like to age, but, as is, this beer challenges the palate and then rewards the effort, making it drinkable and enjoyable. Though, of course, moderation is the watchword in this instance.

 1,689 characters

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

Sampled with two best friends -- some of the finest other philosophers I know.

Pours a deep burgundy in my glass with a small tan head.

Aroma is of Ommegang's particularly distinctive yeast, with light sour cherry skins and a hazelnut-glazed finish.

Taste is much of the same, with an added earthiness. The bitterness of the lambic does not really come through, but this is not a large problem with me, as since this is apparently Lindeman's Kriek blended in here, a larger porportion might carry over the added sugary sweetness that is in that libation.

As with all of Ommegang's offerings, this has a pillowy soft mouthfeel, and just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability, despite the high ABV, is not really a problem -- I think I could easily drink one of these on my own next to a warm fire.

An excellent offering from Ommegang, and the price is right too. Will pick up another bottle or two to cellar.

 933 characters

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

Opened up a 750mL bottle last night as my brother and I enjoyed this great beer. The color was a rusty copper. Carbonation was perfect in my opinion. Medium head with lacing around the beer till the very end. The smell was dominated with various fruits, but mostly consisted of raisins that I tasted while sipping this beer. The aftertaste was quite unique. First, a fruity burst of flavor then you can taste the alcohol at the very end. But the fruit taste did hide the alcohol aftertaste somewhat. A very tasty beer. I would recommend it.

 540 characters

Photo of DrewBeechum
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a brown 750ml bottle with a white label and funny little cardboard sign proclaiming the collaboration of Ommegang and Lindeman's.

Beer lands in the glass as a brown rusty brew with a potent haze and an almost non-existiant tan head.

The aroma is deeply musty with a leathery fruit aroma and a nuttiness from the stones and seeds of grapes and other fruits.

The flavor is reflective of the aroma with a spicy and nutty large chocolate cherry followup before a cinnamon break leads to a long warming draw of the 9.8% alcohol.

 548 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light brown with very red highlights when I expected closely. Minimal head and lace. Taste is great, cherry flavor comes through dark malt but the tartness is cut and the cherry flavor is not overly sweet. Mouthfeel is great and carbonation is just right. As the beer warms the complexity begisn to more pronounced with some more citrus aromas and dark fruit tastes coming out. The finish is just a touch dry and spicy. Overall a very complex and beautiful beer, need to drink several to appreciate the full complexity.

 528 characters

Photo of Admiraldinty
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang never ceases to amaze me. Pours a dark brown with a lacy whitish-tan head. Smell is medicinal, slightly alcoholic, sweet malt. Very smooth and inviting mouthfeel. Tastes like exactly what it is: a blend between kriek lambic and Ommegang, but weighs more heavily towards Ommegang than the lambic. Herbal, with heavy sweet malts, fairly alcoholic, with some bitter cherries. This is a fantastic brew - perfect for a cold winter's night.

 443 characters

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

Poured from a growler that I gleefully took from Half Time. Pours a dark ruby-brown with a small cinnamon head. That first splash from the growler to the Ommegang chalice doesn't produce much of a head. Smells strongly of dark fruit and clove with just hint of alcohol.

The taste is something to behold. A beautiful marriage of dark cherry and belgian brown ale that twists and turns over the tounge. Lots of fruity spice up front with a full bodied semi-sweet middle. The ending has a peak of medicinal flavor but it subtly ebbs in to a nice spicy/peppery finish. Drinks silky smooth for such a lively brew. Someone is doing something right at this brewery.

 661 characters

Photo of beernut7
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle label scheme from West Coast is quite different than the current white label scheme on the East. Pours a complicated caramel color with a thin head. Aromas strongly of sweet plum and raisins. The first taste is strongly of caramel and plum with undertones of currant and a hint of bitter chocolate. Throat warming finish with a moderate bitterness carried by a sharper, but heavy body. Very complex and full of flavor.

 425 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This unique ale pours a ruby-tinged cordovan with a thick and foamy beige head. The aroma is heavy on the fruit, with cherries, apples and citrusy notes dominant and malt, hops and rummy alcohol working their way in. Sweet caramel malt, jarred cherries, orange zest and brandied raisins are all quite strong tasting. Peppery spices, cloves, lemon, rum and a bit of astringent camphor enter the mix. The hops are present but almost completely nondescript due to the overwhelmingly power of the Lambic, sweet malt and alcohol. A most curious taste is the lingering essence of Smith Brothers® Cherry Cough Drops. This could have been a top 10 contender had it contained a little less sweet fruity flavor and a bit more hoppy bitterness.

 734 characters

Photo of beerluvr
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the bottle and into the glass with a long-lasting head, medium tan in color that settled over lightly hazy deep ruby red liquid. The nose is heavy on fruit, cherries most dominant, mellow and inviting to the senses. The taste is semi-dry cherry, light maltiness, a great hoppiness and perfectly potent alcohol flavors, each melding wonderfully each other. Pleasantly bitter without the sometimes cloying malt sweetness sometimes associated with this style of ale. Finshes on a almondy-dry bitterness and a palate teasing dance between the sweet and the bitter, cherry notes abound throughout the taste...a wonderful, wonderful ale, buy 2 bottles if you see it, one to drink now and throw the other one in the cellar for a spell!

 742 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer was quite complex. Chilled, it is not very good. As it warms up, it becomes much more pleasant. It tastes good at first, but it has something in the aftertaste which is quite off-putting. I cannot tell what that is. I am very curious what the underlying beer mixed with the lambic is. I love lambic, and I enjoy the one they used. I may or may not like the underlying ale. I may just not like the combination. The flavors didn't seem to complement each other. This is worth the try, but I will not be having this again.

 529 characters

Photo of WaltTrombone
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's only fitting that this beer honors thinkers of complex thoughts, as quite a lot of thought went into this, and it's very complex!

It poured a deep red-brown, with a khaki head. Aromas of sweet malt, caramel and cherry. The tastes were many, and varied! Malt, leather, cherry, grapefruit, coriander, peppery Grains of Paradise, burgundy. The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and light. It finishes with Grains of Paradise, leather, alcohol, and over-ripe cherries. A truly great beer, and worth the wait (and hype!) Those who don't like fruit in their beer should not avoid this, as the cherry is more of an accent, not an overpowering presence. If it tastes like this now, I can only imagine how it'll age. Wonder if they're going to do a Cave-aged version?


 771 characters

Photo of FranklinPCombs
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To begin, this is the most incredible looking beer I've seen. It pours a deep ruby red with a beautiful frothy smooth head, with light draping lace. The bubbles stream up from the side of the glass, reminiscent of champagne, and the minute specks of sediment float in stasis. The smell is very fruity, with cherry, apple, and fig immediately evident. The fruity smell is underscored by the smell of alcohol which is a bit overbearing. The flavor of fruit is mirrored from the smell, but it is more mellow, beneath layers of toasted malt, hops and the everpresent alcohol. The mouthfeel is probably too smooth and pleasant for its own good, enticing the drinker to drink more, quickly, creating possible problems with overintoxication. Served from a jeroboam (3 liter).

 768 characters

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

This was an really interesting beer. Started off too cold so I let it sit around for a while before tasting it to let it warm up. When cold, it's a bit thin and bitter, but when it warmed up, it became much more complex. Nicely spicy/yeasty and a really full cherry nose. Tartness from the kriek lambic it was mixed with was mild and only came through when warmed to the point where it should have been served. Easily drinkable and quite tasty.

 444 characters

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

Package: 750ml corked and caged brown bottle. Familiar-looking Ommegang burgundy label. Not dated, but per Liquid Solutions, was from the second bottling of the first batch. Unlike the current, white-labeled bottle, this is marked “Guaranteed Cellared at the Brewery.” White Label (WL) bottles are marked bottle-conditioned.

Cost: $7.05 per bottle from Liquid Solutions (ex shipping); WL bottles, $5.99 at Gary’s

Presentation: Chalice at ~50┬║

Appearance: Copious gunsmoke on opening, with vigorous cork “pop.” Medium pour resulted in a voluminously pillowy, off-white head, which persisted, leaving heavy lace. Opaque, oxblood body is slightly darker than WL and the bottle contains a good ┬╝” of lees on the bottom compared to the WL’s light dusting.

Smell: Very rich aroma. Dried plum and currant fruitiness leavened by some yeastiness and toasted, caramel malts. Kriek addition not apparent on the nose. Nose is drier than the WL’s, with more complexity and an earthier profile.

Taste: Everything the aroma promised and more! The dark malts are very apparent on the palate, and the fruitiness is broad and deep. I don’t really perceive “pear,” (or cherries for that matter) but there is a crisply sweet note that underlies the darker currant, raspberry, plum notes. All the flavors are unmolested by what one might expect to be a heavy alcohol footprint. Only a subtle warmth penetrates and carries out the long, moderately dry finish. The WL is lighter overall, with more tartness and less of the deeper, fruitier elements. Somehow, I “sense” the kriek much more in this younger version.

Mouthfeel: Classically elegant Ommegang bottle-conditioning serves this beer beautifully! The older version is super-silky with very fine, persistent carbonation. Mouthfilling, warming, and roundly fruity in the mouth. The WL again is lighter and a bit coarser, with more noticeable carbonation. The alcohol is a bit harsher.

Drinkability: Absolutely knocked my socks off. One of the ultimate fireside, cheese & crackers beers, along with Quelque Chose. Although high in ABV, this really drinks easily.

Backwash: A more fair comparison will have to come when the WL has more age, but for now I’ll have to go with the “original.” A very impressive beer that vaults to the top of my list, and a great value as well. I hope the WL improves to this level, because I'd love to have it regularly. I also tried an “old” 3P after trying a Terrible, and this blew it away. Although similar in style, 3P was much more complex (even the WL), with much better integration of alcohol. Perhaps the Terrible will improve with age, but for now, it pales in comparison.

 2,780 characters

Photo of stingo
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - if you're sitting here reading reviews, you're not out buying Three Philosophers, which is what anyone who appreciates good beer should be doing. It most strongly reminds me of port with its rich, mellowing, dark flavor. The addition of Lindemans' Kriek adds another level of complexity to an already tasty quadrupel - yielding dark cherry and green apple flavors among others. As the bottle indicates, it should be served slightly chilled. The alcohol is well hidden in the mix, and as a drink at winter time there's little that can beat it.

 548 characters

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

2002 Bottling.

Chestnut burgundy color with a thin, creamy head, trace trails of lace and lightly evident carbonation.

Fruity, yeasty nose is dominated by aromas of apricot, currant, and other vinous characteristics.

Dark fruit flavors complement a dry, tart and minorly acidic finish. Deeply complex with notes of ripe apple, pear, raisin, fig, candy sugar and tart cherries. The finish, once again, is quite dry.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, extremely smooth and elegant. Creaminess and lack of alcohol detection leads to a most enjoyable beer.

Complex and deep, but nonetheless and pleasure to drink. The alcohol presence is most difficult to detect, while its fruity and vinous characteristics at this point in its life keep in all in check. One of Ommegang's finest creations, this should continue to mature and develop as both time and production of this beer increases. Great stuff.

 910 characters

Photo of 86MonteSS
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


I think you probably have to drink an entire 750 to truly appreciate this beer. The foremost quality of Three Philosophers can best be described as tart and dry. I never realized that this beer included a few shots of cherry lambic, but thank goodness it does, for this is definitely what I'd consider a quadrupel golden boy. The label says that it "inspires your mind" and it really does... quite the vehicle for a fantastic voyage.

 442 characters

Photo of Brewfan
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I visited the Ommegang brewery with a friend 3 years ago before we had even heard of Ommegang. Neadless to say, 3 years later, we're both still drinking the brews from Cooperstown on a regular basis. Rare Vos and Ommegang were our brews of choice, and although I still drink all Ommegang offerings, Three Philosophers definately takes presidence.

Upon pouring into an Ommegang chalace, the alcohol was instantly apparent. The color was a nice dark amber. The head and lace dissipated rather quickly, but I have found this to happen with all 3-Philosophers I've dranken, so it didn't surprise me.

The smell, apart from alcohol, which mellowed towards the end of the beer was nice and fruity with a definate black cherry aroma.

Now cherry aromas are nice and amber color is good, but what gets me about this beer is the taste. I have loved this medium body beer since the first time I've tried it. It's one of the few beers my wife, who is not a beer lover, said that she would be able to drink a whole glass of. I love the way the malt flavor mingles with chocolate and licorace overtones. It is such a beautiful, well crafted beer, I figured that it should be the first beer I rate.

 1,193 characters

Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,482 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.