Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)
6,525 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:
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: 6,525 |  Reviews: 2,123
Photo of StevieW
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chesnut or murkey muddy water brown ? Either way, deep full brown color with burgundy edges. Light tan full creamy head. Full gamut of pleasing aromas. Plums, figs, raisans, and subtleness of cherries, which I thought would be right up front. Taste is an awesome blend of the traditional belgian brown ale flavors. Yeasty, full flavored sweetness. Sticky, carmel, brown sugar, hints of chocolate in the back, and nice tart cherry lambic undertone. A beer lover's fantasy league in one glass. Unbelievable complexity, I swear I taste hints of chocolate in the back.
Light, airy, nearly bubbly body. Creamy feel. Much less heavy than I anticipated, but very very pleasant. Supersmooth and very drinkable, paired this with roasted pork loin, sweet peas, carmelized onions with grilled mushrooms and chocolate truffle dessert. A typical Monday night at the Wayne household. :)

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Photo of BadBadger
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was something else. Pours a very dark color with a moderate head which left some nice lacing. The taste was something else in this quadruple: at some points the cherry lambic seemed excessive, at other moments it was dead on. This would be something to open and share with a friend as an after dinner drink. It is not something I would make a habit of but it is definitely worth trying.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A deep ruby pour of this quadruple - this is a fun one to examine in bright light. The color really glows. There is a small ring of head with minimal lacing.

Smell has some cherry notes, but was mostly very clean in the nose. Strange, me thinks, since part of the drink is a lambic.

The taste is surprising - in good way. The lambic flavor is very hidden, subdued under the powerful flavor of the ale. There is a rich, full mouth that seems to gently raise off the tongue.

A fun beer - but hard to find the occasion to repeat it.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter-style glass.

A deep, deep red beer with an ample tan head. Clove, coriander and cherries dominate the nose. Three Philosophers tastes spicy, oakey, sour, with a dry finish and a hint of sour cherries through and through. Highly carbonated and light on the palate, with the bubbles bringing the flavors up to my nose. An amazing blend of flavors - extremely complex, especially as it warms. Very drinkable for the high ABV. This beer would undoubtedly age well, but is amazing fresh.

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

Served close to room temp in a chalice, poured from a 750 ml. The appearance was excellent, dark ruddy brownish red. More brown than red really, but it certainly had a reddish hue that pointed to the lambic blended in. Medium tannish head which left nice rings of lace after each sip. Also a nice healthy dose of yeast coating the bottom of the bottle. The smell was exceptional. The usual banana like Belgian yeast fragrance but accompanied by the cherry scents of the lambic. The smell reminded me almost of the cherry soaked cigars that my uncles and cousins used to make when I was a kid. Also some solvent odors that hint of the 9.8 abv. The taste was excellent as well. Sweet, banana like, and earthy hints of cherry. Very complex. I did not experience the medicinal taste that others have spoken of. In fact the warmer it got the less solvent like it became. As it warmed the cherry flavors became more apparent almost like cherry soaked cedar wood. The mouthfeel was rich and thick. Very filling. Drinkability was good, I drank the whole 750 over the course of a few hours. All and all an excellent experience and one I will try again. I'd like to cellar one of these.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby-red in color. Dark...with very thick and long-lasting off-white head. Very nice lacing of the glass. Aromas are bursting with cherries soaked in yeasties. Flavor is cherries doused with bittersweet chocolate. Some licorice at the very end? Finishes with the chocolate-cherry aftertaste. Full and creamy mouthfeel. Great flavor and finish. Nothing too dominant and very well-balanced. One that, while I wouldn't drink it all the time, I would certainly not pass up.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this one.

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Photo of Brent
3.16/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Corked magnum bottle that opened with a satifying "pop" and a waft of condensation. Poured a deep burgundy into the chalace with a tight, fizzy head that quickly settled. The mouthfeel, particulary on the first few sips, was rather odd - a foamy feeling that coated the tongue, much like a nitro stout does. Highly carbonated. Flavor was earthy, with a prominent bitter cherry flavor, like cherry pits. I don't think I've ever said this about a beer before, but this could have benefited from just a touch of sweetness to better develop the cherry flavor. As it was, the bitterness was rather harsh and tended to overwash what probably would have otherwise been some nice Belgian malt and yeast flavors that tried to distinguish themselves, but couldn't quite make it.

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

From a 750 mL bottle of the 2003 vintage.

This ale pours a cloudy brown with a brown head. I must not have poured vigorously enough, because there was not much of a head. I'll see if more forms when I pour another glass from the bottle.

It smells malty with a little sweetness and just a bit of a musty aroma.

I can sure taste the cherry lambic. It is quite prominent. The tartness of lambics is not that noticeable, but I'm sure it's counteracting the malt sweetness. An earthy, musty flavor is also very powerful. This is quite the earthy beer. After a few sips I find that the cherry flavor vanishes. I don't detect any alcohol flavors, which is notable once you realize this beer is 9 percent ABV,

Its mouthfeel is good. It's got quite a body, considering the alcohol content.

Overall this is a good beer, especially if you like earthy flavors.

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

Bought a bottle for $4.50. I love Ommegang; quality Belgian styles brewed in the USA. The only quad I had ever had was Weyerbacher so I wasn't too familiar with the style. Poured a reddish-amber color and left a head that lingered till I finished the glass. Strong fruitiness abundant in the aroma. And it tastes oh so sweet. Not as strong as other quads but 9.8% nontheless. But you BAs are responsible fellows HAHA!

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.59/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sorry to be a sore thumb, but I didn't think this beer was that tasty at all. I used a nice glass, like the one on the bottle and filled it half with beer, dark cherry and opaque in color. The other half was full of thick tan frothy head. The head did die down rather quickly. I have this around for about an hour now, and it really hasn't improved that much. The smell is of sweet cherry cough syrup or drops (remember Ludens?). What strikes me with the taste is that the cherry syrup is on one side of the room, and the ale is on the other. I am actually shocked that the flavors are not that well blended. It's almost as if someone took one beer and poured it into another. The flavors do seem to blend more the longer it warms, but the aftertaste is bitter, and not bitter in a pleasant hoppy way (medicine theme comes to mind again). I still have one bottle of this, anyone want it?

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Photo of clvand0
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a red color with a moderate head and left nice lacing on the glass. The aroma was very busy and pleasing. Smelled of sweetness/sugar, cherries, yeast, and some other fruits. The taste is great. Tastes of cherries, other fruits, sweetness (but not too sweet), caramel, and malts. Very well made beer.

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Photo of fdrich29
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bomber poured a deep blood red in my glass with a thick lingering head. Sweet smell of cherries filled my nose as I brought the glass up to my lips. The sweet fruity taste is earned after your mouth deals with the carbination and strong taste of alcohol. Once the carbination and alcohol feel dissapated I greatly enjoyed each sip of this quad. I'd love this one with a big slice of New York cheesecake, that's some good living. This one is definitely enjoyed in small doses however.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3P finally arrived in southern California after much anticipation. It pours a glowing red with a foamy head that lingers, leaving little mounds of bubbles all over the top of the beer. The cherry smell is very subtle at the start but becomes more pronounced after sitting a while. It tastes nice but never seems to go quite where it seems it should. The cherry is just hiding in the background and never makes a full appearance. It's tantalizing in its tartness but just remains tantalizing. All in all, it's an interesting and enjoyable beer; it's just a bit disappointing after the wait.

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

Dark amber colour. A bit of bready malt, load of caramel and some cherries in aroma. Blending is made in heaven! Creamy, fruity and malty body. Surprisingly powerful carbonation. Load of chocolate flavors. Dry finish. Actually this very vinous beer. People who likes Australian plummy Shiraz wll like this beer. Great brewery, awesome beer!

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Photo of ark57
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is another great beer from a great brewery. It is wonderful now and I image it will only get better with age. It is a clear dark-ruby color. The aroma is fruity and there is some trace of the alcohol. It is fairly complex with tastes of cherry, some caramel, and choclate. It is very malty, but is spicy enough to ropund it out. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of BierReise
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle brewed 2003. This Quad poured a cloudy reddish brown with a head that settled down to a thin tan layer just like others in the style.Underneath the bready malt aroma lies subtle notes of cherries giving this a fantastic malty fruitiness that is a delight to the nose. One of the best aromas I can remember at the moment. The body is soft and full with a crisp carbonation that dances on the tongue. The flavor has everything you'd expect in the style. Fruit, malt, yeast and an asortment of spices that all add up to a complex and completely satisfying ale. Overall I found this ale an exceptional example of fine craft brewing that I highly recommend giving a try.

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

In a chimay chalice, 3P is deep brown with a light brown smallish head, fully diminishing. Bottle-conditioned with a few yeast particules. Deep malt aroma, most herbal from our ABT lineup (sage, basil). Malt profile is caramelic, but also fruity. Now I know this is made with cherry lambic and I can find the cherry aspect to it, but I'm not confident I would've without searching it. On the other hand, there's a definite peachy profile into this, together with bready yeast and maple. The body is outstanding, better than any ABT from belgium I've had, decadent creaminess and perfectly mouth-filling. Finish is chocolatey and malty. A fine-tuned desert beer, a most excellent rendition by Ommegang, who would have thought a New York State brewer could make a beer to match the monks' legendary big guns. 2 thumbs up Martin!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish brown with a light tan head. Head quickly dissipates but it has lots of lace. Rounded cherry aromas, malty sourness and baked apple.

Taste is lightly sour with some underlying cherry sweetness. Eases into a fruity maltiness with alcohol flavors underpinning all of this. Some port flavors in there too. Lots of flavor and complexity. Almost like two beers at once (oh yeah, it is!) Lots of sour/sweet cherry up front finsihed with a strong belgian dark ale in the finish. very nice and a great candidate for aging. It'll be even better in 6 months I'll bet.

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

The appearance is a red-brown with a golden hue. You can see the carbonation. The head was a light tan that laces. It smells more like cherries than in tastes like cherries. It's a typical Belgian-style in itÂ’s carbonation. It's slightly bitter, but the bitterness doesn't linger in your mouth. It's pretty smooth considering the carbonation. I might have another one again, but it is a sipping beer.

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Photo of bigbubba
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The cork almost came out by itself once I uncaged it. It has an extremely dark reddish-amber color with lots of carbonation. Very yeasty, malty, and fruity smelling and tasting. A bit of sourness too. I can also smell and taste the cherry, I wonder what this would be like without the Lambic added. Mouthfeel is very good for this style with alcohol and carbonation standing out. It's a very good beer when you are in a sipping mood or with a meal. It's not something I'll drink a lot of, but it would be a great, fairly tame way to introduce newcomers to the Belgian style.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried as best I could not to have the Plato quote on the side of the bottle influence my rating...but the quality of this beer more than makes up for it. This is a truly inspiring brew. Let's go item by item...

Appearance: Very dark, but holding the glass to the light reveals that it is, in fact, one of the deepest reds I've ever seen in a beer. It also produces a huge head, almost perfectly formed. This one looks just perfect.

Smell: Begians usually have just a tad too harsh a scent for my tastes, and this one isn't too different, however there is an undercurrent that makes this much more complicated than just another Belgian. The Cherry Lambic comes through strongly, as does a distinct maltiness, and perhaps a half-dozen other things that I just can't identify. Nice and complex.

Taste: Absolutely lives up to the smell. This is no standard Belgian, but a blend off fruit and spices so complicated that I could spend the whole night naming what I think is in it, and probably not get anywhere near the true recipie. For philosophers? Hell yes, who else could take a guess at the ingredients? Sweet, malty, cherry, acidic, some kind of yeast unlike anything I've tasted before, this one's got everything.

Mouthfeel: This is usually where I knock Belgians a few points, but this one goes down nice and smooth. There's a thickness and heaviness I'm not used to in the style, but which pleasently surprises me.

Derinkability: Perhaps the most drinkable Belgian Ale I've ever had. A tad expensive, as the entire style seems to be sometimes, but if I had an everlasting supply of this, I think I'd be a happy man.

This one needs to be tried. Get one at the earliest opportunity.

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

Appearance: Dark amber hue nice creamy tan head leaves uneven coats of lacing. Aroma: Strong vinous alcohol infused malts with semi tart hints of Lindemann's Kriek that will only mellow with time. Tones of honey wrapped in mild chocolate this is beautiful, finishes with brown sugar awesome stuff. Taste: The taste is a bit rough shows some signs of being young needs to be put away for a few years, the alcohol shines through pretty bright with chocolate covered cherries. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied effervescent Belgian style. Drinkability: Pretty good stuff, by about next year this is going to be so smooth watchout for the 9.8 abv.

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Photo of marc77
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 release. Murky deep crimson hue, with copious animated yeast aggregates. Spritzy carbonation. Tall, fluffy tan head leaves sparse lace. After an initial snap of ethanol, the aroma settles into a balanced, subtle combination of cocoa dusted prune, underripe cherry and banana esters. Becomes more herbaceous as it breathes, with oily hints of myrrh and trace coriander surfacing. In flavor, toffeeish dark candi sugar notes upfront yields to a melange of raisin, semi sweet chocolate and buttery oak hints. Suspended yeast makes its presence known in a complementary, gentle, underbaked bread and must undertone. Ethanol character is subdued, and is discernible by a subtle black pepper and licorice presence. Once sufficient CO2 is released from solution, the mouthfeel is revealed to be firmly dextrinous and agreeably creamy. A slight nutty, brittle like note emerges late concomitantly with a soft, pleasant, dilute bourbon like alcohol presence. Finishes protracted and complex with lingering notes of buttery, cocoa tinged toffee coupled with a prune like acidity. A highly enjoyable, continously morphing brew. After all is said and done, it's reminescent of a English barleywine / Dark Strong hybrid. Surprisingly shy in outright yeast ester presence. I am quite curious as to how this compares to a "fresh" 2003 version. I noticed very little kriek character in flavor.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice semi-cloudy brown-amber colour with a moderate tan head that looks nice at first but dissolves rather quickly. smells of cherry twizzlers, malt, bread, bit of alcohol and a general fruit aroma. the taste, while complex, just isn't balanced enough. starts off with a sweet cherry flavouring, then goes into a malty alochol middle, which, combined with the cherry is more medicinal in flavour than anything else. finally, this one finishes with a bold dry, alcohol finish that hints at some spice flavour as well. the alcohol is simply too dominant here. it's warmth is nice, but it's flavour isn't as welcome, which also makes for an unbalanced mouthfeel. this one wasn't bad overall, but could use some subtlety in the alcohol department and even tone down the cherry flavouring an ever so slight notch.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 750 mL bottle, into a goblet. The color is a dark amber, with a nice white head. The smell is a nice dry maltiness along with the slight hint of kriek. The taste is a very dry malt, with a yeastiness, and the cherry adds a slight tartness to the flavor and keeps the beer from being far too harsh. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, could probably have a couple.

A good quad, with just the right hint of tart cherry to make it slightly sweet. One I've been looking for, and though slightly disappointing (was picturing slightly below Westlveteren, to be fair) this is still a nice year round offering to add to the Ommegang line, and I'll probably have this again.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,525 ratings