Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

2,090 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: 2,090 | Ratings: 6,403
Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Left a one finger head that was colored like espresso foam, that is, it was a biege-brown foam that receded after a while into surface skim that lingered until the end. Not really much in way of lacing. The body was deepest brown, maybe deepest maroon, almost black. Can see through it though, if you hold it up to the light.

Aroma - sweet candied fruit, chocolate, and phenols upfront, some bready malt, some caramelly malt even, in the middle and both some ester and alcohol solvency at the end.

Taste - exactly as nose indicates. Sweet dried and candied fruits ( think dates, plums, raisins ) Add to that a rich hearty sweet bread containing all those dried, candied fruits. The finish is of phenols and the tinyest hint of the high abv of almost 10%. No hop flavor to speak of. Aftertaste of raisiny, date-y, sweet rolls with a little hint of lemon ( there's the hops after all; maybe? ), and yet more of this taste if you lick your lips. Leaves you sweet and dry at the same time, with no bitterness at all, or parching dryness either, nor any kind of cloying sweetness at all. That hint of the alcohol from the high abv I mentioned?, well you kind of have to look for it, or just be aware that it's there to really taste it at all, which I think is always an excellent thing in a beer. Just well balanced deliciously rich ( but not nauseatingly so ) sweet malts and candied, dried fruits.This is excellent beer.

Mouthfeel - very full, moderately chewy, with very little carbonation. Slight hop oil coating. Finishes very dry, but not parchingly so, but does leave your mouth watering for the next sip.

Drinkablity - this goes down very easy, and is delicious! High abv limits it to one 750ml ( or two 12 oz.'ers ) per sitting. I was going to ding it a half point on this trait, but I just can't - it gets the full 5 -just excersize due diligence and repsonsilblity, you'll be wasted in no time flat after two 750's without seeing it coming because this excellent ale completely hides, and I mean completely hides, the potency of its high abv.

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Photo of blackie
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Pours a fluffy 0.8" khaki head that slowly recedes, though only partially. Little lacing is left behind. The beer is a dark reddish amber in color, with plenty of floaters suspended throughout.

smell: Upon swirling the glass and inhaling deeply, wonderful aromas assault the palate, propelled forth by the ample carbonation. Tart and sweet cherries, fresh aromatic hardwoods, candied tree fruits, and dark sugars are found. The hop aroma seems light, but it may simply be overpowered by the other goodness going on. Nary a hint of the ethanol presence.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lower half of the high range, and composed of small, smooth bubbles. The body is light.

taste: Wild and fruity notes up front. Hints of cherry, oak, slight ethanol, and various fruits are found. Moderate noble hop flavors are found, and considerable bitterness cleans everything up and dries out the finish. Not quite as pleasing as the aroma, but good nonetheless. Just not enough malt character or depth for me.

drinkability: Limited by the dryness, carbonation, and alcohol content (the effects, not the presence), but still good.

Purchased last August, and cellared about 8 months since then.

note: Sometime early in the winter of 2006-2007, probably around November, I had a 2003 bottle sent to me by goodbyeohio in "These go to eleven...a bif," and it was absolutely awesome.

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky, fig brown color. A thin layer of tan foam covers the beer and the sides of my tulip.

Smell: Light and fruity. Crisp scent brings to mind green apples, cherries, and ripe plums. Slightly chalky, earthy hints of yeast.

Taste: Heavy on dark malts. Smooth caramel sweetness up front, with some fruity notes. Prunes, dark fruit. The foundation is sweet and a little earthy. Lightly sweet, tangy flavors of cherry and sour apple clash with the heavy, chewy richness of the dark malts. The alcohol is subdued in the middle, but it provides some explosive warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A touch light-bodied for the style; it doesn't have the heavy, sticky feel of a St. Bernardus or a La Trappe. It has more body than the average beer, but it's lighter and a little crisper than the average quadrupel.

Verdict: I can't hate anything from Ommegang. I enjoyed this beer, but it didn't fully come together for me. The alcohol isn't as well hidden as it is in other quads, and I didn't think that the lighter fruit flavors were an ideal match for the rich caramel flavor of the malt. A good beer, but not my favorite Ommegang offering.

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.97/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a very strong and intense beer. I didn't really like it just for that reason. Overall it was just to hopy for me. It did have a nice color and feel, however. On another note, I am looking for someone to tell me what book(s) or place will teach me more about what I need to know in order to appreciate beer.

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Photo of clickpush
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pour: 750ml bottle to wide mouth wine glass. Beer is charcoal in color with a thick brown, retentive head that leaves lots of tracings in its wake. Streams of CO2 visible around the outside of the glass.

Nose: The aroma of this beer really grabbed me - steaming fresh bread, bananas, nuts and toffy all combined into a mouthwatering attraction.

Mouth: It enters with strong carbonation and finishes with a bitter swallow. From the time this beer hit my tongue I was enjoying a chewy, fresh bread like beer that warmed my throat as it went down and warmed it further as I exhaled. Has a wonderful lasting taste throughout the mouth and contains peanut and raisin flavors.

This is my first time having this beer and it is immediately among my favorites.

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Photo of czechsaaz
2.75/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aroma is borwn sugary with a bit of sour notes. The cherry aroma is very apparent but there's other yeasty fruit fementation esters too.

Nice garnett/ruby colored, very attractive looking. Big tan head fades quickly but leaves a lasting thin layer.

Kind of treacle flavored malt with pretty stron alcohol flavor. There's some cherry flavor but it seems artificial and doens't really blend well with the other characters. There's some darker malt complexity but there's also a saccrine like sweetness. Flavor is a bit medicinal from the saccrine and what I pick up as cherry extract and not the real deal.

Full bodied and pretty warming in the stomach from the alcohol level.

I guess I'm not the only voice of dissent on this one. I have a hard time getting through a glass of this since I find the blend not very interesting. I'd be more interested in the straight beer from Ommegang.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a chance to try this last night. I had a 2004 mid June last year and was not impressed. this one was a non-corked style 16 oz bottle so I thought I'd revisit given time and the new packaging.

A - Ruby black with a high level of carbonation. Takes a while but the head dissipates with very little lacing.

S - I hate to say it, but cherry cough syrup but a shade less sweet. Definite alcohol presence.

T- Similar to how it smells. Medicinal with some slight cherry notes.

M - not quite syrupy but close to cloying. This is a thick brew which is not necessarily a bad thing but this time it didn't work for me.

D - A sipping beer. I think the smaller packaging is great because 750ml is too much for one person in a sitting IMO.

I think this is a love it or hate it brew. I like many of Ommegang's products but this one will not be on my buy list.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a color I can only describe as auburn. Not much head to speak of but what there is, is colored off white. Nose is full of buttery cherries. Taste is a bit of butterscotch followed by mellow cherry. There's very little tartness. Some about the flavor doesn't gel though. Something seems missing. It isn't bad but I don't find it very pleasing for some reason. Mouth is luscious, thick and creamy. Drinkability is so-so. Its good, but not something I feel the need to follow with another glass. Something tells me that this might be more pleasing with an older bottle. I'll buy one and re-review an older sample.

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Photo of twofattires
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, said it was brewed in 2005. It drank it out of a wine glass.

Appearance: It pours a nice creamy mahogany, with a hint of red when held up to the light. The head is a creamy brown that sticks around pretty well for such a high ABV brew.

Smell: You can smell the alcohol fairly well, as well as some nice malty scents, almost bread-like, and just a hint of the cherry lambic that's in the beer.

Taste: This is quite a powerful and complex beer. More complex than my palate is able to translate. That doesn't mean I didn't like it though. It's got a nice malty flavor, and it seems that (predictably) I tasted most of what I smelled. It's got a nice bready, malty taste, with just a hint of the cherry lambic. It's not a syrupy cherry taste at all. Very classy. At first sip it's very drinkable, not seeming at all like it's ABV would suggest. The finish is a nice, dry and warm, which balances nicely with the slight sweetness.

Notes: This is absolutely a big beer, and not something I'd want to drink too much of. I don't see myself buying this often, but I think it would make a nice "special occasion" beer, or a nice subsititute for red wine.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a frothy white head on top of a deep dark mahogany, VERY ACTIVE CARBONATION, sweet lord this beer is crackling at me.

Smell is of alcohol, deep dark fruity undertones though, cherries abound (similar in this way to Mad Elf) I also detect some hops and malt but not enough to cut through the fruit and alcohol.

Taste-cherries up front, fruity undertones come alive here with mild traces of apple, banana, and even grape for me (not sure if that is correct) followed by a massive alcohol onslaught, this thing doesn't wait to kick as soon as it falls down your throat you feel it.

Mouthfeel is ok, heavy and thick but the alcohol is not hidden, still the fruit does help it out, that kick is wicked though.

Drinkability- a good belgian brew, a sipping beer like any quadrupel, could do without the kick but the fruit flavor is dominant as well making this quite enjoyable.

Overall-yikes, massive beer with lots of flavor but loads of alcohol kick as well, still definitely worth trying, I'd be interested to see what it would have tasted like on its own without the cherry lambic added, but still this is an interesting combonation brew and definitely worth trying. Ommegang really has their shit together.

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

Dark foggy purple black in color. Nice white dense creamy head and great retention. Aroma is of mouth watering juicy plums and cherries with sweet yeast, caramel, mocha, and molasis. Taste is full of flavor. Nice and thick too. Chocolate covered cherry syrup, plum, grape and probably some awesome. The lush velvety texture takes control of your mouth. Nice bitter cherry-like finish. Real yummy.

I'm glad I finally picked this up and I will definitely get it again.

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Photo of wedge
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 - Poured from a 750ml.

Foggy reddish-brown with a large frothy tan head that leaves some nice lacing. Estery dark fruit aroma (raisins and cherries) with some phenols - smooth light yeastiness and spice - pleasantly complex and sweet. Big, thick, and smooth in the mouth - rich sweet malts, more dark fruits...mmm...chocolate covered cherries. Creamy and a bit warming.

Another very well crafted belgian-style from Ommegang. So rich and substantial...a truly awesome beer.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very attractive, dark cherry brunette with a tall, stocky, pale yellow head.

Smell: It's amazing what a difference glassware makes. I poured this into a pilsener glass first, just for kicks, and the aroma was bizarre; very earthy, full of glutamates and allspice, remniscent of a Chinese restaurant. I transferred it to a snifter, where it became quite luscious, full of cherries, banana, Scotch whisky, toffee, amaretto, bay leaves, and caramel malts that border on chocolate.

Taste: Subdued pie-like cherries, tangy yeast, spicy hops, smooth caramel malts. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Raw alcohol and hops make this a little rough on the palate. Plus, it's on the thin side and not very chewy. I'd love to try it after a year in the cellar.

Drinkability: Excellent flavor, but quite alcoholic. I'll have no problem finishing the bottle but that will probably be it for me.

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Photo of mcowgill
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Ommegang beers were among the first I drank when I began to explore the world of craft beer. I'm finally getting around to reviewing this. It pours a beautiful clear reddish amber with an offwhite head. It looks to be very carbonated. I can smell the Belgian yeast quality along with raisins and cherries. It seems like a very complex beer...and wow, it is. It's a creamy, full bodied beer with a great spicy quality and a caramel sweetness. It's pretty drinkable considering the ABV and complexity. I will be sure to savor this.

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Photo of fingolfin72
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed this from the bottle before, but I was quite happy to see it on draft at the Sawmill Taproom.

The beer is a nice mahogany with a fine, off-white head.

It smells delightful- spice, malt, toast, nuts, cherries and sugar.

This is a beer with a lot going on, but nothing is over the top. The balance is good- nice, malty body, a spicy/hoppy/mineral backbone, and, best of all, a restrained, tart, pure cherry essence. There is some alcohol there as well, but not out of proportion. It is delicious and drinkable, but the complexity slows one down a bit, in a good way.

A good fireside sipper, but don't let that stop you from drinking it year round.

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Photo of lpayette
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

$3.49 for a single 12oz bottle, Winooski Beverage- behind the counter in the liqour section (a great find- didn't realize that they sold a few beers over 8% until I stumbled across them. I usually steer clear of that section of the store).

Appearance- Mohogany- nice red highlights. Big frothy head (surprised me) with good amount of brussels lace.

Smell- Strong banana and other fruit flavors (cherry maybe). Some musty notes that for me add to the appeal making it seem well-aged somehow. The label also looks pretty classical, so the mustiness is right at home. Some near earthy smells.

Taste and Mouthfeel- Strong banana and other fruity flavors again. Alcohol is perceptable but plays a background role. Malt is quite prevalent. Smooth mouthfeel with some light tingling sensations. Definitely a sipping brew. A good treat every now in then when looking for something strong.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been intrigued by this beer in stores since my "Belgian craze" last year when I first got into craft beer. However I never got around to picking it up as I was busy trying all the beers from Belgium IE Trappist etc. I haven't been as crazy about Ommegang's brews as many but I'll still give em a chance because I love the fact that a brewery here in the US has the guts to go after the styles from one of THE great brewing countries in the world.

750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A - What a look. A reddish brown that really looks a translucent ruby red when held to light with a nice off white head sitting atop.

S - A lot coming at you on the nose. That Belgian yeasty smell leads but that cherry smell from the lambic blend, along with a caramelly sweet malt is kicking around on the nose. Very complez aromas.

T - In the taste I;m getting a lot of yeastiness along with the cherry taste coming through. Much tarter cherry taste than I expected. The alcohol tinges as well and the brew also has a spiciness that won't quit. Also a bit of a smoky flavor towar dthe finish/aftertaste. Nice overall.

M - A very chewy full bodied brew. Feels nice in the mouth.

D - A ton of complexity here, makes you want to sip and analyze. Only complaint is I;m picking up a tiny metallic tinge that I;ve noticed in all Ommegang brews, however here it's masked and/or blended with so many other flavors that it's opk with me.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Fruity esters that remind you of cherries, plums, and raisins. A bit of yeast spiciness and clove notes also brush the nose.

Appearance: A deep cloudy copper-brown pour with a thick and creamy looking head. The retention is beautiful.

Flavor: A cherry sourness on the palate and first that lends itself to a sweeter middle and a drying slightly phenolic finish. There are peppery notes throughout and the cherry essence keeps coming back. It doesn't dominate but it's noticeable and quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, a warming alcohol presence, and a slightly astringent feel (probably from the cherries).

Overall impression: A sipper that should be enjoyed. Amazing complexity. The alcohol was a little too prominent and took away some of the enjoyment for me. Nicely done. A good choice for my 400th formal BA review.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby color that glows in the light, fairly hazy. Thin head disappears rapidly into a frothy ring. The aroma has light notes of fruity sweet malt, perhaps raspberry or cherry, with a slight nuttiness. The is initially cinnamon sweet malt, becoming more fruity with winey and cherry notes. The finish is fairly unremarkable, with the strong alcohol showing itself a bit. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but nice and bubbly. Decent drinkability, needs more finish to round it out, also a bit alcoholic...

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Photo of tom444
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle w/ cork.

Pours a deep brown with a heavy tan head.

Initial aroma is of a malty sweetness, with some citrusy and spicy notes, and a bit of bourbon-like alcohol.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel, light carbonation. Plenty of dark malt flavor, with some herbal and medicinal notes and just a little bit of hop bitterness. Some warming alcohol on the finish.

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Photo of MagicLantern
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Snifter.

A: Heavy taupe head settles to a 1/4" lace that clings to edges of glass. Notes don't tell me how the head settles at the center of the glass, a second review will correct this oversite. Caramel brown darkening towards center. So thick, only translucent at edges of glass, though couldn't see my fingers even at the edge of glass. Darkness of beer prevents one from seeing carbonation.

A great looking quad.

S: Cherry! A malty smell with carmel and spice. Cherry is very clear and overpowering. It's appetizing and inviting.

T: Malt and carmel combine to make this a slight coffeesque tasted with an overpowering cherry lambic on top. While the carbonation isn't easily seen, it's evident in the taste mixing with the spice to give this beer a slight bite. No alchohol taste, or at least very well hidden.

M: This is a smooth beer, that ends with a carbonated bitter bite, followed by the cherry lambic. The cherry is incredibly strong and nearly overpowering. It's almost two seperate beers in one. Tasting it is pleasant, but the swallow changes the beer to an bitter cherry end. It's kind of tough until one gets use to it.

Drinkability: This is a hard one. I am not a fan of Cherry. I take them off my ice cream and shakes. Having said that, I've been told this a great brew and I wanted to try it. I think I've been fair in my review overcoming my dislike of Cherry. I'm new to reviewing beers and I haven't always been certain what lambic is. This beer made it very clear to me. I immediately realized 'that's the cherry lambic!"
I personally found the cherry incredibly strong and it made it hard for me to drink this quad. Having said this I love quads and continued through. As I got use to it, it became easier to drink. Having said that, I did toss out my drink rather than finish it.

I want to be fair so I'm going to get another and try it. I want to overcome my aversion of cherry, but it's unlikely that I would ever drink this regularly. Because of the cherry, perhaps I'd open one at a celebration, a party with good friends or something. If you like Cherry dig in. If you don't like Cherry avoid. Finally I'm told the pleasant flavor and I enjoy at the beginning and the unpleasant cherry that finishes the brew 'merge' if this is aged. I am definetly going to age a bottle to find out and see if this improves over time. I'm also going to review this beer to make sure I've been fair to it.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a wonderful beer. I enjoyed it as a cordial towards the end of the evening. Ended up capping it with a cleaver capping device, and was able to enjoy it the following day. I had been off Belgian for a while; they seemed to overpowering, this was a "subtle" reminder of what powers be held within these beers.

A wonderful rich body, glowing with caramel and vanilla flavors. Topped of by a very thick head. Almost like a soda float of some type. Alcohol everywhere in this one, listed @ 9.8, but hits like a 14+. A little hard to get through the bottle. Ended up with quite a hangover from not consuming that much.

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Photo of Raymond69
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle dated 2005

Pours with a good head ,tan carbonation lasts until beer is gone from pint glass.A healthy reddish brown glow.

Smell is very unique. Sweet , grassy. No hop notes , but the cherry is evident.

Taste has a sweet/sour lambic balance , normally handled by sweet/bitter hops. Hops do come through slightly on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thick , syrupy , very highly carbonated.

Drinkabitly of this 10%'er is pretty good.

I was hesitant to try this with cherry-lambic added, but overall found it refreshing. This is another beer I'll revisit in a few years after it has aged.

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Photo of petemoss14
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle.

Pours a dark mahogany with a fluffy tan head, that laces nicely down and around the goblet.

Aroma of dark cherry syrup, caramel and brown sugar, some figginess. Fruity alcohol esters.

Dark fruity dusted lightly with cocao on the palate. Juicy cherries through the middle. Almost citric tartness in the semi-dry finish.

Smooth and hugely carbonated -- belch inducingly so. A unique and complex offering from Ommegang. And a great deal for $6.99 a bottle.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark burgundy beer with a shy head retention

smell is malty with a caramel feeling that is nicely balanced

Taste is alcohol at first, then caramel with a fruity touch that ends with a sherry like flavours that come and complete the ensemble.

not bad, but I espected more

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
4.12 out of 5 based on 6,403 ratings.
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