Three Philosophers | Brewery Ommegang

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Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers
6,584 Ratings
Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Belgian 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,584 |  Reviews: 2,145
Photo of winomark
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 Version.

Reddish brown with a very vigorous, medium tan head. Slightly sour cherry nose with some good malty tones. Mild candy sugar notes. Tastes like chocolate-covered cherries! Quite nice. Alcohol warms the finish. Rich mouthfeel, with a long, lingering finish. Very tasty. An enjoyable brew. Quite solid throughout. Nice and drinkable. Not an everyday brew for me, but good to have occasionally. Definately worth a try.

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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. The bottle comes with an intersting paper wrap around the neck showing the logos of Ommegang and Lindeman's since this is a blend of beers from the two breweries.

The beer pours a cloudy brown with a medium head that thins quickly to a thin lace of islands. The aroma is very sweet, like watered down molasses. Taste is excellent and filled with a spicy and sweet tangy flaor, roasty malt flavor, sour fruit ending and a touch of hops.

It is great in the mouth with a medium to full body.

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

The beer poured deep amber brown. The head was tan and wispy and did not stick around long. The head retreated to the edges of the surface of the chalice and barely laced the glass.

The aroma was caramel and cherry with a lightly fruity aroma and a slight spice.

The flavor was spicy with cherries and dark fruits. Also present was a complexity of the caramel maltiness that is quite impressive. Alcohol is the last piece of the flavor puzzle to show up to the party.

The finish was dry and fruity with lasting alcohol impression. The body was medium and crisp due to the carbonation.

750 ml bottle. Brewed in 2003. $6.99.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Three Philosophers: 2003

I had this out of 750 ML brown bottle with cage and cork. Labeled as an "ale with cherry-lambic added". I paid $7.99 for this at a local speciality store. Overpriced at $7.99, but I have been eager to try this out. I served this beer in a goblet at room temperature with a slight chill out of the fridge as suggested on the bottle.

Appearance is very appealing to the eye. A ruby brown color with alot of mini carbonation bubbles. An incredible, fluffy head with spectacular lacings on the sides of the glass.

Smell is earthy and sweet. Smells like a powerful and interesting beer.

The major flavors of sweet malts and ripe cherries with an alcohol warmth finish. Creamy and complex. This is amazingly smooth for a 9.8% ABV quadrupel.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice dark redish brown color. There is a 3 finger head that falls very slowly, leaving a nice thick lace around the glass when it falls. The nose is malty sweet with fig coming through dominantly. There is not but a hint of the alcohol in the nose, which is good for the ABV. The first taste has a metallic taste to it, which detracts, but this flavor is not present in later sips. The beer is nicely balanced with good sweet malt that give it a subdued fig flavor. The beer is big, but not offensive. Very good. Its thick, but not syrupy. I enjoy this. I would like to try it out of the corked bottle to see if the metallic taste comes through in that offering. This is a highly drinkable beer for the ABV and style. I would drink this again.

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

As someone who has never been overly impressed by ommegang offerings, I was blown away by this one. Poured a hazy tan colour with a moderate head. The aroma of cherries were ever present, but not overpowering. Very nice taste. of cherries balanced nicely with hops. I was surprised by this. Usually the cherry beers end up overly cherry tasting like cough syrup (sam adams), but we have a winner here

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Photo of Mitchster
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

2003 Edition. A quadrupel Belgium style ale blended with Lindemans Kriek.

Pours out to a dark brown with beautiful cherrywood accents, forming a modest poofy light tan head with good retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma of rum-soaked cherries, raisins and the nasty spontaneously fermented fruit cake my mom makes with vodka, oddly colored maraschino cherries and raisins. Suggestion of fusel alcohol, caramel...fumes of isopropyl alcohol waft through the nose and burn my eyes. Mouthfeel is spicy and brisk at first but becomes exceptionally syrupy with a medium-dense body. Taste begins with tons of clove and spice, followed by syrupy amber malts and prunes. Intensely heavy with moist cavendish tobacco in the closing, and the aftertaste is earthen and mossy. Isopropyl alcohol peppers throughout, but predominates in the finish, giving it a somewhat harsh boozy twang and alcoholic astringency. Fusels are there, but not as abundant as in Ommegang. Rotting black cherries, anise, and dark candi sugar throughout. No discrete lambique sourness, and devoid of any Kriek character. Tastes like it was fermented at 78-80 degrees fahrenheit (which is not a good thing in my book). Despite my bountiful adjectives, this beer tastes like crud.

This one can be passably sipped. It's one of Ommegangs better brews, which isn't saying anything at all. I think I taste Hemlock. To quote Aristotle..."This beer tastes like Hitler." Ommegang...philosophize my sink, or toilet.

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Photo of marburg
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to the color of a freshly lacquered mahogany bar under dim light. Alcohol, plums, hints of cumin, canned blackberry filling, and more alcohol. And I'm catching mint brownies every now and again. Powerful nose.

Vodka soaked Fig Newtons and plum skins. What starts as smooth, alcohol-free complexity (d)evolves into a somewhat harsh alcohol presence as it warms. Tart Michigan cherries are a minor presence, but I can't shake it. Finishes a bit yeasty and much drier than anticipated. A bit astringent; I'm chewing on wood chips here every now and again. But quite good. I have this same issue with Rochefort 10, but I really wish this held up a little better as it warms, because I could easily put back the whole 750 without -- and this only shows my laziness -- returning it to the fridge during the wait.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This came in a nice looking 750ml corked bottle. This appears a nice brown color with dark red hues in the light with a nice sized beige head. While receding down to a collar of bubbles there are nice sheets of lace left clinging to the glass that stay for the duration. A very complex aroma rises out of the glass the smells of sweet fruits, caramel malt and the cherry lambic can be detected as well more so when it warms. There are also trace amounts of alcohol and spice in the nose as well. The taste starts of with the sweet caramelized malts with fruits such as apples and cherries coming through. The finish has a good earthy hop flavor, slight alcohol with a lingering cherry taste. There is so much going on in the taste I will need to pick up a few more bottles to fully appreciate this tasty brew. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with a coating light fruit sweetness that is amazing. This is defiantly a sipper but I could sip this all day provided I had no plans. This is defiantly one of my new favorite beers, great job by Ommegang.

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Photo of TinusTime
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the colour of a rich black cherry soda with a ecru head. the smell is of cherry, pomogranite, and carmel apple. Taste is malty and rich with the sweetness of the cherry cutting through it like a knife. Was not as lambicy as I expected it just seemed to add a bit of sweetness and tart flavour to cut the richness of the beer. Mouthfeel was nice with light pinpoint carbonation at first. By the end the beer had flattened a little which melded the brew even better. The alcohol is muted at first, but as it warms it begins to show through. A really tasty brew, but more of a special occasion brew.. I wish I had one to save and see how it progressed.

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Photo of beefytee
4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


I was a bit reluctant to bu y the 75cl bottle, fearing that I may not like it and have to waste half a bottle or I wish I had bought the 75cent bottle. I found a small 12 oz bottle in a whole sale distributer in NYC, I snapped it up because I felt it the perfect oppertunity to give it a shot.

I was very pleasantly surprised. I was afraid the lambic would overpower the beer..not at blended quite nicely.

It poured with a beautiful tan/maroon head which lingered through the first third of consumption. The smell was great, warm, the flavor was perfect. The lambic made the beer spring to life on my tongue, delaying the alcohol taste (9.5%) until the instant before swallowing. The finish was strong, and not at all sour as I was fearing. Really a great beer. I look forward to this one in the fall.

Ommegang is s-erious brewery, and I look forward to any new beer they produce

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Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice oud cherry colour, good lacing. Like a good wine in appearance. Good yeast aroma. Bit of plum- more action in sediment at end.
It is undeniably fresh yet found it bland. Watered down cherry and not a full punch of a quad. Could it have been dusty glasses?

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Photo of putnam
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a first impression from a 12 oz. bottle obtained in New York. A subsequent experience with a 750ml - obtained in Michigan - seemed flatter and more obnoxiously alcoholic (say, 4.0.) (???)

Reddish brown with buttercream-colored foam. The nose is a dense, furry wall of black cherries, macerated and scorched into a paste. Almond butter, nutmeg, jerky, sticky, moist, brown and black breads and pepper assert their presence as aromas too. On the palate it burns slightly, but ultimately in service to a leathery circus of flavors including soot, toffee-stewed, overripe apricots, plums and cherries. There is a distinct, severely burned sugar component to this beer, reminiscent of authentic creme brulee or black-topped croissant crusts. Overall the bitterness works just to cover any residual sweetness and ensure a slightly gritty, dry finish - some alcohol fume heat is apparent as it closes.

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Photo of ZAP
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orangish brown...tan head on top....lots of yeast floaties..I should have poured it better but I kind of like them and said "fuck it"...I like the nose...big burgandy cherries soaked in rum aroma...also a little leather/tobacco spiciness...nose also seems bready...great aroma...body is fulll....solid carbonation....flavors are complex and quite enjoyable....the cherries now seem a little more sour....they seem to be soaking in a good dose of vodka now rather than rum...also some rich, sweet bready flavors are present...finishes dry...

Overall I like a few of this breweries beers better than this but that is personal preference....I would consider this a nice Thanksgiving Day meal brew....would seem to mesh well with a lot of a sipper it is good but I'd take a few others over this for just sitting back and sipping on..

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

The beer after releasing its grip on the 750ml corked and wired brown bottle sets in the glass a somewhat hazy mahogany color, the head stupendous in size, spumescent in texture and the color a winsome light tan, the lace after decomposition of the head forms a thin veil to obscure the glass. Nose is laced with black cherries, caramel, a hint of musk, clean and crisp, with the start ambrosial, nice malt profile and the top middling in feel to the palate. Finish is stern in its acidity, the hops forceful but not overpowering, very dry aftertaste that lingers long on the palate, a great beer from a long time favorite brewery.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 750 ml bottle, corked & caged. Neck label indicates brewed in 2004.

Rich, deep amber hue. Some particulate matter floating. Impressive beige coloured head leaves lots of sticky lace behind.

Nose is an intriguing mix of caramel laden malt with dark cherry aromas. Unique & inviting, due to the interesting fruity unndertones that wrap up the nose.

Exactly as promised on the label - sweet caramel malt & cherry flavours. But its got a whole lot more. Subtle fruity notes lurk all over, along with some spicy yeast character. Everything works very well together. Slight warming of the throat is noticeble, but not annoying. Slick on the tongue. Moderate carbonation that had a soft feel to it. Quite enjoyable with chocolate covered cherries.

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Photo of noclue
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy dark brown, decent head with beautiful sparkling lacing that never seems to fade.

Smell: Sweet, yet herbal. Somewhat mysterious. Slightly medicinal.

Taste: Pleasantly sweet and malty. Very smooth until the finish when the alcohol sneaks through.

Mouthfeel. Full, creamy body that tickles the palate wonderfully.

Drinkability/Overall: Outstanding brew, very complex. Pairs very well with food. Something I would definately consider cellaring. Highly Recommended!

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

Presentation: 750 Ml. bottle, consumed out of a trappist glass.

Appearance: Hazy burgandy. Nice head retention with some decent lacing.

Smell: Slightly medicinal and phenolic - chocolate covered cheeries steeped in alcohol.

Taste: Extremely smooth. Sweet, dark malts predominate this brew, with very slight, barely detectable elements of cherry and chocolate.

Overall: This is one very complex Belgian-style Quadruple ale made exclusively for sipping. Highly recommended! But do drink this with caution as it clocks in at a staggering 9.8% ABV.

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

This was the first beer we had after the Trapist tasting at Barriques in Madison. This bottle was shared by six people.

Appearance: Dark burgundy colour.

Smell: Malty with that signature Belgian backdrop

Taste: I like this. It was a good beer to follow the other Belgians that night.

Mouthfeel: This is a heavy beer.

Drinkability: I'll have this one again, for sure.

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky red, nearly black with a thin tan head with no lacing. Dark fruits dominate the aroma with raisins, cherries and plums sweetening the nose. Flavor is pleasantly tart over a sweet candy and malt base. Earthy yeast flavor and a slight spicy biterness creep in towards the end. Hugely complex yet very drinkable. Huge props to my sister's fiance who scored this gem for me.

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Photo of cbl2
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A truly beautiful beer! More red than brown, dark, but crystal clear with a nice tan head that lightly laces the glass.


Cherries dominate followed by an oaky character and an herbal medicianal quality.


There is an interesting battle going on here, with both the belgium style ale and the lambic jockeying for position. In one corner is the sherry like flavor of a fine belgian ale, in the other you have the upfront aggressiveness of the cherry lambic. Superb blending of the two!

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Photo of aquatonex
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

VERY dark red, quite opaque. Thick retained head of fine bubbles. Smells smoky with hints of fruit. Has a pleasant taste of spice, cherries, malt and perhaps other fruit infusions. Has very complex taste on your tongue, hitting you at different times. The balance is very good as well, nothing is overpowering. However, as the ale warms, a strong alcohol smell and taste comes out. A very interesting blend that is a good choice for a change of pace.

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

2004 vintage here.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown brew.

Smell is melon and fruit and alcohol. Mild tobacco smell and faint spice, and a lacing of clover and honey.

Taste is mildly sweet with a pleasant mild cherry flavor. Complex flavors here, miscellaneous fruit flavors and a very warming alcohol sensation. Dry woody and mild bitterness. Over all this is a well-balanced flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is good, extremely fine bubbles like champagne.

Very drinkable brew, this would be excellent for a holiday brew.

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

While im not a huge fan of Ommegang's beer, i think i've found my favorite of their offerings.

This was a dark orange/brown pour. Plenty of liveliness in the glass and a generous head. The nose was obviously spicey and sweet. Hints of caramel fudge an underlying spiciness. The taste was much of the same. Medium bodied with a full, lively mouthfeel. Sweet on the finish with a nice lingering touch.

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

This beer (which finally showed up here after all the others did long ago)poured a dark, very red amber color and formed a small light tan bubby head that left circular lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, plum and spices. The flavor was of malt, raisins and spices. There are slight citrus notes, but nothing to really show the cherry lambic added. As with all other quads, like grand crus, it's hard to know if there is a set standard for the style. But this was still a good beer.

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Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,584 ratings