Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)
6,518 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

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Ratings: 6,518 |  Reviews: 2,121
Photo of jdhilt
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one-fingered head that doesn't leave any lace. Light carbonation, medium bodied. Nose has black cherry overtones, starts on the sweet side finishes smooth and mellow. A very good quadrupel too bad this limited brew is no longer available. $7.50 for a 500ml bottle.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep reddish brown color with three fingers of light tan head. There is a fair amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of fruit, including cherry and plum. It is a sweet smell, that has a hint of alcohol in it as well. The taste is malty and sweet, with only a hint of cherry. There is more of other fruits in there; raisins, dates, and currants. The finish is fairly sweet, a little tart. The mouthfeel is extremely thick and fairly smooth. The drinkability also fairs well for a beer of such high alcohol. A new wintertime treat for me!

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

Just as good as I'd expected. Poured beautifully deep and dark, with a golden head. Within its phenolic aroma are detectable hints of cherry. Tart, roasted flavor and mellow mouthfeel. Much more alcohol flavor than the other Ommegangs, but it's to be expected for such a strong beer. I think I might well save my other bottle for a while, let it age, and then compare.

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

Presentation: 750ml (1 Pint 9.4 fl.oz.) bottle with a gold colored wire cage & steel cap. The cork was a bit of a Belgium bugger to remove. Ripped, rather than teased out, there was a very loud “thrup” echoing around the room for some time whilst a little whisp of condensing grey gun smoke exhausted to atmosphere.

The swish neck label announces this as ‘Brewed 2003’. A large 270 degree obverse label is very well presented. Helpfully labeled with lots of information at various points on the white background label as a ‘Top-Fermented, Bottle Conditioned Ale with Cherry-Lambic Added, Quadrupel’. Stated strength is 9.8% ABV.

I followed the recommendation of serving this at 50-54°F, but ignored the Goblet suggestion and instead flew in the face of wisdom and used a straight sided Gueuze Tumbler.

Appearance: Clear dark brown body that looks to have a dark cherry red tinge, or is that my imagination. A light yellow tan head forms easily and rises faster than the pouring Ale in the glass. It settles down slowly and uniformly to a ½” thick covering that rises with an inverted meniscus edge at the glass wall. Finger slashes of foam like lacing cling to the glass walls. A swirl reveals lots of dissolved carbon dioxide.

Nose: Warm malts, alcohols, dark skin cherries, plums, light caramel with a hint of medicinal toffee, the nose improves the closer it gets to ambient.

Taste: A creamy feel entrances the beer. Dark bitter cherry skins are prevalent in the beginning. The malty Belgian-base beer underscores the fruit, but only breaks through in the middle. The malty Dubbel feel is dominant in the latter third and is quite spicy at times. Finishes with a mildly warming yet thick malty caramel ending. Intriguing.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy feel, tons of small bubble carbonation aids a coarse velvet blanket on the tongue. I have a feeling that this will get smoother with age as the levels of conditioning diminish.

Drinkability: I like the dark cherry caramel feel to this offering, which mixed with the smooth body and intriguing malty Belgian base all contributes to an imbibational treat. Beautiful.

Overall: The obverse label promotes Ommegang Three Philosophers as “Created by blending a rich malty Belgian-style ale with Lindemans Kriek, a classic cherry-Lambic from Belgium, our Quadrupel is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise, and the preferred drink for all mental travelers”.

Wow, that’s quite the entrance, as the Big Head once said, “why be waste time being conceited when you know that you are already better than everyone else”.

I have been impressed with all of Ommegang’s offerings that I have tried to date, and this is no exception. It is a very interesting experiment. But I would certainly like to drink a vintage example of this, as I feel age may well improve this further.

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Photo of beerman599
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an really interesting beer as i'm not a big belgian beer fan. it 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. some spicy/yeasty and a little cherry nose. Tartness from the lambic was mixed and mild and only came through as it warmed to the point where it should have been served.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a fluffy, loose head of foam. Lightly rustic, powerful cherry aroma. The first sip (served a bit too cold) tastes syrupy with a cherry cough drop flavor -- this isn't a bad thing -- although I thought I'd taste more malt. As it warms up I notice some malt flavors and the bitter finish is more pronounced. I notice the alcohol towards the finish. This beer is not as full bodied as I had expected, nor as complex. I was hoping for more complexity and perhaps that sugary, caramel charcter I've found in a St. Bernadus Abt 12, which also could be considered a quadrupel. Despite these perceived shortcomings, I did enjoy Three Philosophers, and will definitely drink it again. Another fine, and creative beer from Ommegang! I really appreciate the blending of a strong dark ale with Lindeman's Kriek.

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Photo of freed
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

..more regards to weefishheads and PDX Beernight version1..

After some confusion over the difference between the 750ml bottle and 12oz bottle, we tried the 750ml bottle. Popping the cork forced a fair amount of foam out the top. Once poured, the copper, almost ruby hued liquid settled with little head. It also left no fingerprint on the sides of the glass as it disappeared.

The armoa was somewhat cidery but plagued by astringent and alcoholic smells. The taste had some of these minor problems, but was otherwise quite tasty. The sediment accented the fruity and tart tastes, probably the yeast itself giving the flavor. Much like a cider, there was a very dry, tart finish.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had two of these bottles in my cellar. The second one I will keep for a year or so and compare with this one. Very cool 750ml bottle, mostly white, which clearly states that it was brewed in 2003. I found the exact glass at Julios in Westborough, MA. As a side note, this is one of the nicest glasses I have ever seen.

A wonderful looking beer. Cloudy reddish-brown in color with a small tan head. The smell is typically Belgian and reminds me a lot of their Ommegang beer. Maybe a tad bit sweeter. The first thing I notice is the huge malt backbone. Cherrys, raisins, yeast and bananas are all tastes that I pick up. The taste kind of switches from malt to sweet. The 9.8% alcohol is very apparent in this young beer as it leaves a great warming feeling at the end. I think one year in the cellar will do this beer some good. Interesting fresh, but I think it may smooth out over time.

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

My god, simply my god. On to the review...

Poured a kind of deep red, almost wine like in it's appearance, except for the big gorgeous foamy head that adorned the top of my chalice.

Smelled of dark malts and cherries.

Three philosophers is a beer to ponder. Deep, complex, round and wonderful. Starts with initially sweet dark chocolate, cofee, cloves, and orange. The coffee and chocolate quickly turn to a more roasted bitter flavor. Shortly after the sweet and swourness of the cherries comes in. Spicy sour and sweet, the cherries round out the beer as at passes down your gullet. It leaves a warming as it goes down, and the aftertaste is of french roast coffee, slightly bitter. Simply wonderful.

A beer that feels round, and full in the mouth. Carbonation is just right, keeping it from being too chewy.

So flavorful I'm not sure how much of this my taste buds could take. It hides the alchohol amazingly well though.

Just amazing beer, if you can find it pick it up.


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

First of all, is this a Belgian strong dark? This is blended with a lambic! But anyways...
Goddamm, now that’s how a beer should look. Pours a magnificent amber red, almost like a red wine, except for the darkness, cloudiness, and exceptional foamy, thick, everlasting head. One of the strongest, thickest beer smells I've ever smelled! When opening the bottle, i smelled it right away...complex and malty, sweet and spicy, a plethora of smells.
Taste is very, very good. Malt overrides all, yet I can still detect cherry flavor from the lambic, coffee flavor, sugar flavor, bitterness of the lambic, carbonated spice, and a very underlying hint of hops. What can I say that hasn't already been said? An exceptional combination brew, and one of the best I've ever had!

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

The beer pours a dark burgandy color with an ample white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has the traditional dark Belgian aroma; malts, spices, yeast, etc., but there is a lingering aroma of cherries added by combining a Tripel with a lambic, producing a Quad. The taste is brilliant. It is a strong beer, but you wouldn't know it. It has a dark feel to it. It tastes like the regular Ommegang, but with a nice cherry aftertaste that really compliments the flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with low carbonation, which suits it perfect. This is a great beer. It drinks well. I wish it wasn't a seasonal brew.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 6,518 ratings