Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

2,088 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 2,088 | Ratings: 6,394
Photo of nicefix
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I noticed a good amount of setiment in the bottom of the bottle. Poured into a brandy snifter (that's what I drink my Belgians with since I don't have a chalice). Dark brown with a big off white head with good size bubbles. Nice lace but not a lot of retension.

From what I can remember it smells and tastes similar to the Hennepin but stronger in flavor and alcohol. I smell fruits, maybe prunes, apples, some malt. Taste is the same with a finish of alcohol and some hops. Pretty drinkable. Another good brew from Ommegang.

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Photo of akorsak
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2005 bottle served chilled to room temperature in a Troegenator seidel.

A: The ale has a thick luxurious head that does not lace. It is a hazy light brown color with abundant sediment.

S: Smell is malty-cherry mix, with the cherry being more of a sour (liefmans) than sweet (lindemans).

T: The taste is cherry and chewy malts. The malts are dominant but give way to a certain heat from hops. The malt finish is long and the formidble alcohol is well hidden. Maybe its just me, but the malts have a muscat grape and chocolate finish.

M: The depth of the quad and the cherry hints makes this a beer that thoroughly confuses the tastebuds.

D: Even at 9.8%, this is a strong drinkable ale.

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Photo of BlackAngus
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, ruby color, fast-fading head, but lots of champagne-like carbonation.

Dark fruit, alcohol, maltiness in the aroma.

Sour lambic flavor, cherries, big maltiness, fruitiness, definite flavor of alcohol, some chocolately notes.

Mouthfeel is thick, heavy bodied, just the right level of carbonation. Nice alcohol presence.

Highly drinkable...if it were available in my area, I'd always have some on hand.

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Photo of egajdzis
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004... Poured a hazy brownish red color with a thin tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of tart cherry and caramel malts, spices, and light alcohol. Taste of pepper, caramel, some cocoa, cherries and some yeast as well. Reminds me of a candy apple.

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Photo of greebsnarf
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Three Philosophers (2004), on tap at the Belgian Room in NYC for an Ommegang event. The appearance was stunning: a rich dark red color, almost syrupy, and a large but quickly fading head. It looked incredible in a large wine glass. That said, I found the aroma a little disappointing. It smelled primarily malty and sweet, but, I thought, deserved to be much more pronounced.

When it came to drinking it, though, this beer did not disappoint at all. Moderately thick and a little bubbly, it was a real pleasure to sip, and the taste was extremely complex; with each sip I noticed another flavor. Malty and sweet are followed by a slight yeasty taste and sour cherries, with a number of other flavors, spicy and roasted, that I couldn't quite pick out. It tasted quite peaty and smokey throughout--reminding me of Scotch whisky. The alcohol was well masked at first but became increasingly (and, I thought, surprisingly) pronounced as the beer warmed.

Between the thickness and the strength and complexity of flavor, this really is best enjoyed slowly, in small amounts, and without food; as much as I enjoyed it, I could only have one small glass in an evening. But I'll happily have that one glass any opportunity I get.

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Photo of BabaJohn
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a nice, dark red wine with some brown tints. Head fades fast, in its place comes some consistent and evenly placed streams of carbonation. Smells sour and malty, with cherry and caramel aromas. A delicious clean taste up front, very sweet and wine-like, cherries, grapes, bitter greens. Nice alcohol warmth follows. The carbonation is well integrated. Some slightly roasted, smoky flavors as well, predominantly in the aftertaste. Slightly dry all in all, but this trait is presented well. Goes straight to my head; drink slowly. Mmm…

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Photo of mynie
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2003 Vintage.

Pours a beautiful bubbly dark rust cherry. Bubbly bubbles, very bubbly, huge big pretty bubbles visible miles away from the class. It's all topped off by a rocky retentive head.

Smells sweet, sour, and cidery. A little too strong, maybe--I can only imagine how intense a fresh bottle's odor would be!

Tastes great. Complexity grows as it warms. At first you're overwhelmed with the two styles that are blended, you get the sharp tart cherries and sour yeast of the lambic and then the spicy burn of a quad. The stages become more pronounced as your pallete adjusts. It still starts out tart, but the chewy lambic yeast comes more into play. Then it shoots into a sweet and spicy quadrupel that tastes like a very strong ommegang--bitter start, very sweet and fruity middle, and then a bitter end. It all ends on a nice alcohol burn.

This tastes a bit more alcoholic than it is, and that hampers drinkabliity a little bit, but it's well worth it otherwise.

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Photo of ChillMike
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep and dark plumish amber color, with a medium sized light brown head, that doesn't seem to leave much lacing. Smells of sweet malts, chocolate, and cherries, a very pleasant smell that begs to be drank. A waterfall of flavors hits the palette upon first taste. I first get plenty of chocolate flavor, some malty flavors, then sugar cane, followed by the slightly sour cherry lambic flavor to finish it off. Leaves a very pleasant aftertaste. Quite enjoyed this one, however, it is about 2 years old, I wonder how it tasted upon fresh brewing.

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Photo of beerogre
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As a general rule, when I visit the beer store after finishing work on Friday and make my selections for the weekend, I like to look for something new. Something a little bit different, something of an experiment. After sampling this beer for the second time (the first was several weeks ago) I have already decided that this will definitely be one of next Friday's purchases and thus, once again, one of next weekend's highlights.

It's hard to put into words how impressed I am with Brewery Ommegang's products and drinking this beer once more only serves to reinforce how highly I rate them.

I've been trying quite a lot of Belgian beers in the last few months and as great of a time as I've had with that (and it has been wonderful) I really don't think I've enjoyed any of them more than the pleasure I derive from the Ommegang beers.

Comparing this beer to other Quadrupels, I've had St. Bernardus Abt 12 many times, Trappistes Rochefort 10 several times recently, and Avery's The Reverend (read my other reviews to see how highly I rate Avery) and to be honest I'm reaching for the shelf with the Ommegang.

It reminds me of when I used to go to the horse races back in England. Sometimes a famous owner like the Aga Khan IV would have horses at the event and you always knew they were going to be class horses. Well, for me, I always know it's going to be a class beer when it says Ommegang on the label.

Ommegang beers: First past the post.

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle marked 2005 into a pint glass.

Giant head on this one, had to top off with another pour, due to huge head. The result is a creamy looking, off white head that rises above the glass, much like a root beer float. The brew itself is an inviting shade of red that comes as close to black as it possibly could.

Aroma is dominated by cherries, with the yeast coming through minimally.

The taste is very sweet upfront. A complex mixture of sour cherries, yeast, and a solid malt backbone. Taste a little chocolate on the back end. Cherry leads the flavor, but not overwhelming at all. This is a very complex beer. Very delicious too. Picking up what may be vanilla as well. My, this is good!

Mouthfeel is wonderful. Thick without being overbearing, and nowhere near thin. Smooth, and refreshing, and left me wanting more.

Overall, I would say for the price, and the quality of Three Philosophers, this is a HIGHLY drinkable quad. Definately going to be putting it into my regular rotation.

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Photo of JBStith
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ommegang Three Philosophers. I am enjoying Belgian styles the more I get inot them.

A: Pours a nice deep ruby brown. A bit hazy with a thick tan head that disapates fairly quickly.

S: Great malt aromas with a hint of sweetness and black cherries. Little to no hop araoma. I almost got a nose full of beer on this one it smelled so good.

T: Similar to smell. Traditional yeast sourness followed by sweet and earthy malts. Darks fruits are noticable and finished with subtly warm alcohol.

M&D: Medium mouthfeel and body. Nice balance between sweet, sour, and alcohol. I could have more than one or two if the high abv didn't knock me down so quickly.

I will definitely have this beer again. My girfriend even liked it.

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Photo of atozymurgy
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As great as this beer is, it's even better with the right food pairing...

Pours with a huge, long-lasting head, even with a slow careful pour. The color is deep, rich brown, almost black, but with ruby highlights. Very enticing.

The aroma is thick, with lots of malt, noticeable cherries, and hints of bitter roastiness, slight sourness, and a slight whiff of chocolate.

The taste is almost beyond description. One of the most complex beers around. It starts sweet and malty, but this is quickly balanced by roasty bitterness and a touch of sourness. The cherry flavor perfectly balances the richness of this beer, without being overwhelming. The slight notes of chocolate also add roast and bitterness, but it's different here and complements the cherries beautifully.

This beer really fills the mouth, though it's surprisingly light given how big it is. It goes down very easily, especially with the help of the sourness. Not exactly refreshing, but I could easily drink more than one (if I'm not standing).

Now to the food. This might not work so well with most entrees, but there are few better dessert beers around, IMO. With a dark chocolate cake, a cherry cheesecake, or other rich dessert this beer shines. But to my surprise, it goes nicely with lighter desserts too. For this tasting, I had it with a fresh raspberry and blueberry tart with B&J's vanilla ice cream and some excellent chocolate cookies. Absolutely perfect - the cherries and the sourness meld with the berries and the richness matches up well with the ice cream. Try this beer with dessert and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of bonbright7
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had read about this ale in a traveler's memoirs of visiting the fabled Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY. The traveler suggested that this ale was an exceptional find after finding it in storage in a cave.

I tried this after finding it in a very warm Shoreline store today. I tried the dark quadrupel and it looked like any dark Belgian ale.
It poured well into an oatmeal head and it tasted like the dark ale of Westmalle with a slight bite to it.

It was very good for the length of the bottle, but I wondered if it would be better in colder weather.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this quad pours a dark ruby red color, with thick medium tan foamy head, moderate amounts of swift carbonation are present

S - as anticipated, strong aromas of cherries are big and up front, smells like maraschinoed cherries as opposed to fresh ones, there is also a strong alcohol aroma present

T - the cherry flavor persists of course, but its kind of dulled by the thicker nearly chewy maltiness of it, almost bready

M&D - kind of strong, but easy down, the girls thought it was a bit strong, but i enjoyed it, a little too thick, but very tasty, i prefer the cherries in NGWBR, but MUCH better the SA Cherry Wheat

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Photo of thelagerheads
3.45/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I fixed up a yeoman's feast while Trüb strained to open the vintage Three Philosophers with his mustachio heavily persperating into the glory hole of nectar. Afterall, one should never bloody his apron with the tumescence of ghoulish beers while his dick-butler(euphemism for personal home-plebe) lurks near! Well, this wasn't as ghastly as it was NOT BEER. It was undercarbonated BAMPAGNE. A gassy little beer in a big time bottle. It uncorked, it bit and it sang like bubbly. Not even the dancing porkchops could make it beer. The peppers of yellow, red and green cajoled it to be but it could not. I even asked it politely to salutate with a ham-fisted beer 'ello but it said no sir. Get your violin and bree cheese out because the French waiter and weird sounding police cars are going to buzz by your summertime window with this one. Rap tap table tap.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured fairly gently in a Chimay goblet, beautiful creamy cream-colored head. Largely dissipates, but a layer remains. Dark reddish brown, like Irish breakfast tea if it gets cold and clouds up, opaque except at edges. Smells like brown bread and spice cake, with chocolate sauce, a little brandy, some fruit - black cherry, cherry preserves, peach.

Great creamy mouthfeel, very nicely controlled fizz. Sweet malt, spice cake, Christmas pudding. Nice fruit. Hint of chocolate sauce, less than nose. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, but pleasant, like a faint whiff of brandy. Sweetness is restrained, for a quadrupel (thankfully). Faint bitterness, this must be balancing the sweetness. Really drinkable, for the style.

Delicious, and balanced. The taste lives up to the nose. This is really good.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber red color with a foamy tan head. Nice retention on the head. First sniff is full or dark fruits, cherries and plums. Followed by a sweet maltyness. The smooth mouthfeel is the first impression when you taste this one. The flavors are rich and powerful but somehow hidden by the smoothness of this beer. Nice maltyness and mild cherry flavor show themselves. The high ABV is amazingly well hidden. Another winner from Ommegang.

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Photo of gonzo138
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- very dark blood red color, light carbonated head with nice lacing
S- smelling sweetley of cherries, with a very rich toffee like undertones
T- very dark with rich flavor, cherry taste is not as pronounced as one might expect, masks the alcohol taste well, I noticed if you take a small sip you will taste more of the lambic, but if you take a larger one you will be overwhelmed by the quad taste
M- coats mouth, thick with good carbonation, taste fades away fairly quickly
D-Good drink for a cold day, a definite sipping brew

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice tight foamy tan head. Great opaque deep caramel color with garnet hues around the edges. Opaque and cloudy in the light. There are tiny bubbles floating up as well. Beautiful lacing, some of the best I've seen.

S: Powerful dark fruits and alcohol. Honey sweetness. Smells like it's going to be sticky.

T: Sweet and complex dark fruit up front. A touch of yeast might be hidden. A hit of alcohol followed by bitterness, which lingers.

M: Extremely full and creamy. Amazingly silky smooth. Small tingling bubbles, but a bit dry on the finish.

D: Really tasty, but also a bit overpowering at times. A great beer, but not for it's drinkability I'd say.

This beer has great flavor, but don't try to rush this. I was on the fence on whether to give taste a 5, but I figured I don't have enough quad experience to do so.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia a few years ago for the debut of this great beer and have been in love with it since. I cracked open a 2005 750 ml bottle of this tonight and decided it was time to finally review it.

The beer poured a deep hazy amber color with a thick tan head that disapated rather quickly and left behind a solid ring around the edge of the glass and some floating islands in the middle. The beer has a very distinct aroma of cloves, yeast, cherries and maybe some other dried fruits. Sweet and malty and hard to put down. The taste is a bit tart but balances out well with the cherry taste, malty sweetness and then rounds out with an alcohol kick on the back end which is pleasing to the palate. Based on the high abv, this is a bigger beer to drink but being very smooth is is fairly easy to drink as well.

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

2004 Bottle

Frothy tan head coming out of the bottle with a mahogany hue. Head was soon gone and left with a mere trace of lacing.

Very complex. Smells of leather, burnt caramel, a bit of alcohol, perhaps a hint of cherries and raisins, grass.

Taste begins with leather and grass, quickly fades to warming fruits, but has an acrid, vegetal finish. Really only the aftertaste brings out the spice of the yeast matched with toffee. Alcohol is not too noticeable

Nice, full mouthfeel, well carbonated. A bit sticky.

Good drinkability for the style. It's not often I drink a whole bottle of this

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Photo of expatsteve
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 2005 bomber with my wife.

Appearance: Rich mahogany ruby with medium visibility. Poured a big 1 inch head that subsided slowly over the course of a glass, living thick sticky lacing and liberal suds cover. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Fresh nose of grains, grass and a background suggestion of cherries. Fairly robust but refreshing, with mild raisin notes and a little alcohol spice developing as it warms.

Taste: Fantastic. Restrained chocolate, raisin, and apricot malts upfront, with a burst of cherries on the middle palate. Alcohol is pretty well masked, with just a slight vegetal finish in the throat. Mild grainy finish throughout the mouthful balances the sweet finish from the malts. Perfect balance of all flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with medium but subdued carbonation. Easy in and easy the whole way down.

Drinkability: A great offering from the folks at Ommegang. Had the opportunity to drink this on-tap a few times at Zeno's in State College, PA, and enjoyed just as much now as I did then. Drinkable, well-balanced example of the style. Not as much of the fruit burst on the front palate as I expected, but the cherries on the middle palate provide an interesting and welcome twist. I'll definitely be buying this again in the not-too-distant future.

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Photo of crwills
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this from a standard 12 oz bottle -- my only one -- into a wine glass. Colour reminds me a lot of the Red Rocket Ale I had the day before... dark reddish brown. This one has some pinkish notes to it, though. Decent head sticks around, with lots of lacing.

Aroma is all dark fruits and caramel, but with some 'spritziness' to it, like someone squirted a bit of fresh lemon in it.

Taste is roasted malt, fresh cherries, and espresso. Really, really nice. Mild cough syrup notes as it warms, but that's ok. Medium body that avoids being syrupy (regardless of the flavour). Sweet chocolate-like aftertaste.

This was really good, and would be worth keeping a few bombers around... that's what I"ll be looking for next time.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer kicks absolute ass.

Pours a tight, compact, creamy head which stuck around a good long while. The color is an earthy dark brown with plenty of bubbles and even some tiny floaters.

Leathery smell comes on strong at the forefront, followed by dark fruits, also cherry and raspberry. Nice round maltiness in the nose. Good depth to the aroma, though quite subtle.

Oh yeah. Tastes sort of like an old ale, but sweeter. The leathery aroma also comes through in the flavors, adding a subtle dirtiness, or earthiness. Also strong cherry, smooth caramel and creamy milk chocolate. Slightly tart in the finish. Alcohol is superbly well-hidden. This is dessert-y, but the mouthfeel isn't thick or heavy. It's buoyant and bubbly while also being full-on creamy, which perfectly complements the wild and wonderful flavors dancing around.

Hard to pin down, but easy to love. Definitely on the sweet side, but you almost don't realize it because the flavors have so much depth. There are many sides to this one. Utterly enjoyable, a fantastic piece of work. Easily one of the best non-Belgian Belgians that I've had. This tends to be said a lot about Ommegang, and with good reason.

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Photo of Gregorious
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750cl bottle poured into chalice

A - Really really pretty...hazy brown with crimson highlights when held up to the light...2-fingers of head on pour...dissipated rather quick.

S - O dear lord this is aromatic...the smell is so delicious. Sweet, smell of cane sugar and dried fruits. Malty overtone and just so mouth watering....I could have enjoyed this beer by just smelling it all day...

T - Yum yum...Cherries is the first thing I think of... Nice complex flavor though so it brings to mind many different flavors that meld together quite nicely. Spicy hops, dark chocolate. Ends a bit tart because the beer is mixed with lambic (which i love alone enough.)

M - Nice medium weight to it...not overcarbonated...yum

D - Very drinkable...The high alcohol content may make it a bit less drinkable when sitting down for a session (or atleast I would hope so). Very very tasty and I plan to buy another and enjoy it thoroughly.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
4.12 out of 5 based on 6,394 ratings.
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