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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) | Brewery Ommegang

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2,066 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: 2,066 | Ratings: 6,295
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance - clear ruby color. Thin tan head has large watery bubbles and reduces to a covering before too long, but it's a rather attractive brew. (1/19/09 - a rather hazy ruby this time, from a well-rested bottle, so quite a range is possible)

Aroma - sweet, dark fruit (dark red cherries obviously, like Bing cherries), deeply rich smelling with an easily detectable alcohol smell. Not very intense, but foreboding, maybe.

Taste - tart cherry, a little nuttiness picked up on top of some thick maltiness. And did I mention some alcohol? Crikey, you could serve this in a shot glass. Very strong in that department. Lots of bubbles help usher in some lambic funkiness, a bit subdued and a good idea for this beer. Ends rather sour, almost acrid, like Cherry Vicks 44D, but not entirely unpleasant. Overall, an interesting but very boozy tasting beer. Some elements kick up the score but a few other elements knock it back down IMO.

Mouthfeel - very alive with bubbles, they fill the mouth with foam at times if you take a good swig. Good body and a very warm residue.

Drinkability - a decent beer but not really repeatable. A beer tasting kind of thing or an alternative way to wind down a busy day instead of wine.

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Photo of Overlord
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decided to re-try a few of these Ommegang brews and put in some reviews.

Pours a hazy/cloudy brown with ruddy hues when held to light. Gigantic billowing off-white foam head.

Smells like fruit laden yeasty bread, surprising amount of cherry, and some spice.

Flavor adds add in Belgian candi, a strange astringent ... yeasty spiciness. A bit watery and thin, but some bubbling carbonation. I don't know. It's basically a sweet Belgian dark ale with a bit of puckery cherry to it. Just too astringent, yet cloyingly spicy sweet at same time.

As you work through the bottle (Even a 12 oz.er), it gets wearisome.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brewed in 2004.
A: Pouring into a large wine glass, a thin, light-tan head is produced over the dark amber liquid. The minimal head fades within a minute, leaving a few clusters of foam around the glass. Vigorously swirling and smelling allows the beer to streak lacing down the glass' sides, enhancing its display.
S: Dominating the scent is the maltiness of the beer; aside from the requisite alcohol scent, I detect little else. The Belgian yeast seems to be buried underneath and only the slightest of hints of the cherry lambic filter through. There does not seem to be any bittered fruit or plum, fig, raisin smells as one can encounter from the style, especially when mixed with kriek.
T: As foreshadowed by the smells, most of the beer seems to be focused on its malt aspects; clearly, the bulk of this beer is devoted towards its caramel malt origins. The sweetness is tempered by a mild peppery and yeast taste as one would expect from a Belgian ale. No detectable hop presence, but it does finish with a slight alcohol taste. From my perspective, the people who claim to taste cherries and chocolate are either playing up the effect or letting their expectations cloud their senses; I could detect very little. There are other quadrupels with more balance tethered to scent and flavor depth/undertones than this one, hence the average.
M: Light to medium mouthfeel with a well-designed amount of carbonation to make the beer smooth and go down pleasantly.
D: Three Philosophers did not come across as well-balanced or providing much in terms of depth or subtle flavors/smells. The malt power is just "on part" for the style. Given its high alcohol content without much reward in terms of other aspects, this one doesn't strike me as much to rave about. Perhaps 2004 was a bad year...

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A=deep brown, one finger of head, slightly off white

S=interesting smell almost creamy, some fruitiness

T=similar to smell, creamy, some maltiness and fruitiness

M=thick and fluffy, good carbonation feel

D=overall too creamy and sweet to be very drinkable.

Not one of my favorites

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Photo of KettleBellFreak
3.13/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown/auburn color. Smells nutty and kind of like stone fruit.

This is an excerpt from a review below that describes the taste exactly as I tasted it.

this beer is quite nutty and the dominant flavor profile is malty. It has a medium-full body that definitely doesn't leave you wanting more body, which is to say there is something in this glass that your tongue can get a good grip on. It is moderately carbonated with a light hint of cocoa, and after a swig, there is a noticeable but unhindering amount of bitterness that rests on the back of the tongue.

However, the bitterness was too much for me to handle. Absolutely awful. Ruined the rich mouth feel and malty/chocolate notes. Could be a great beer if I grab an previous year's bottle.

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

2009 12oz bottle into a tulip style glass in the late afternoon of a sunday. This was one of my 1st craft beers around eight years ago.

Hisss as the cap was pryed off, three philosophers pours out a mixture of muddy waters brown sprinkled with some red spots from the cherry addition. As the liquid reached 1/2 way up top a dark beige head exploded upwards looking beautiful. Straggely lace.

On first whiffs, it's apparent this quad was not made in Belgium, It's just not sweet enough for all that. There is a nice mixture of sweet malt, cherries, plums, chocolate, nuts and alcohol. This is a freshie so the alcohol I kinda expected. Seems to meld better with warming.

Im first greeted by a malt blast that's kinda sweet kinda caramele kinda whatever. After that the cherries poke their heads through giving off a cherry pie vibe. It's amazing the amount of cherries come through from just a 2% addition. A bit of chocolate but for some reason the residual sugar vibe I get out of foreign quads is lost altogether. 3P needs more sugar, preferably the turbinado kind.

Feels a bit thin for the style, I would say it's a healthy medium with a low amount of carb. Im used to low carbed quads so there is that. Small bursts of alcohol in spots depending how I swish it in the mouth, but no heat of any kind.

I think I know why I have not had this in awhile, it's just underwhelming in many area's andI remember those same thoughts from years ago. It's pretty drinkable but after 6oz's or so I was pretty much done with it. The bottle says this is ageable for up to five years, but I don't see this getting any better, it's just not that complex enough as it is.

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Photo of Brent
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of jkendrick
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 vintage

Appearance: Hazy amber color with frothy, tan head that recedes quickly. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: Aroma is sweet with licorice, raisins/dark fruits dominating. The malty sweetness reminds me a bit of cough syrup.

Mouthfeel: Rather full-bodied for the style and creamy.

Taste: Very sweet and cough syrupy with a strong alcohol presence. The sweetness dominates up front, but is soon overtaken by the alcohol which is just too powerful, in my opinion. It's a bit tougher to identify the flavors over the alcohol, but the dark fruits and caramelized sugars are there. I don't taste the cherries mentioned on the label much.

Overall impression: Very boozy. Too much for me, even for a quad. The medicinal aroma and taste don't help it much either. Perhaps more time in the cellar would serve this one well. Overall, it's not BAD but I wish I had opened this with my fiance or a friend to share the bottle with as one glass to sip would definitely be enough for me.

UPDATE: 2009-08-17

Nine months of cellaring later and it is definitely better, but now feels a bit thin and certainly doesn't eel any more complex. The booziness has DEFINITELY subsided though.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.16/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ommegang is easily one of the premier American-Belgian style brewers. I have had a few of their brews in the past, and was not too impressed. They were okay, but nothing to write home about. Here is my review of their Quad.

A: Pours a murky brownish red. Head fizzes away rather quickly. No lacing present.

S/T: Smells like a typical dark Belgian Ale. Dark fruits, spice and alcohol. Taste is actually a little too harsh for my taste. Not a smooth beer at all. Alcohol is quite prominant in the taste. There is also quite a bit of malt. Caramel and toffee. Cherry and cherry pits along with an oaky and woody character. A touch of banana in there as well. Flavors do not seem very well blended it is just a bit too unremarkable overall.

M/D: Medium bodied with a very fizzy and bubbly mouthfeel. Quite a bit of alcohol burn in the finish. Definetly a sipper. Too harsh to gulp.

I will admit, I am not the biggest Quad fan. But compared to others I have had, this one is pretty middle-of-the-road. Flavor needs more refinement and the alcohol presence needs to be more masked. Probably not one I would drink again. I recommend it if you are a big Belgian Quad fan. If not, then you might want to pass.

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Photo of Kudashov
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured in my trusty Stella Artois glass ...

A-Dark brownish / red color with nice vanilla head , lacing is lasting ,

S- Cherry , Fruity ....Citrus ...

T- after smelling the brew I thought it would be overly sweet which it is not . Not being a fan of my last quad I was apprehensive . This brew fills my mouth with flavor .

M- pleasant , good .

D- Wonderful , will have again ..

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A unique brew in the Quadrupel style. Poured out to a dark and cloudy red, with a large cream colored white foamy head. Good lacing was noted around the glass. Aromas of cherry, roasted elements, and some brown sugar was noted. Taste was heavy and filling, with complex flavors abound. Flavors of cherry, dark chocolate, some weak malt, and a hint of sour tartness on the finish. The higher alcohol level is well masked, but still present. Very heavy mouthfeel, like having cherry extract moshing around in your mouth. I'm not sure if I would have this again, it was like having fermented cherry juice. Not many of the a-typical quadrupel characteristics were here. I really don't know if i'm going to finish this...

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Photo of NewGeneric
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this yesterday after work. Poured a burgundy color with light beige head that faded quick and left light lacing. Smelled of fruity yeast, malt, slightly sour and toasty. Tasted almost exactly the same. Very smooth. Finished the bottle, but not sure about wanting to drink any more of this.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep red to burgundy color, fairly dark, not much light can be seen through it, but enough to see some sediment. a fair half inch of head results from the pour.

Smells of sweet cherries, some malts, and alcohol. that's about it.

As in the smell, there is a strong tart cherry taste with sweetness. spicy Belgian yeast flavors are tucked behind some malt, pungent cinnamon and booze. The dominant alcoholic- cherry flavor tastes medicinal and reminds me somewhat of cough syrup, it's a little too much.

medium bodied and highly carbonated and crisp.

I don't find this beer to be very drinkable. Honestly, it doesn't go down too easy for me, but it is more of a sipping beer to enjoy over the course of an hour. I bought a 4 pack and didn't drink the last beer until a month and a half later. A good beer to try, but I don't think I'll be buying it again.

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Photo of meday
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into two chalices.

A beautiful rich amber color with a thick off-white head. Long-standing head and lots of lace.

A very faint caramel smell. With a head like that, I was expecting more aroma.

Cinnamon and spice, honey, grass, but what was dominating was the black pepper. It was very biting in the flavor.

Decent mouthfeel considering the biting flavor. A bit of a bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.19/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First off, The color of the beer was a semi dense copper. Also one of my favorite things is to see yeast sediment floating around in the bottom of he bottle. To me that is the sign of where the true flavor and craftmanship comes from. The smell of yeast ( I think it was yeast, what ever it was, it was pretty pungent. I know it wasnt hops though) hit my senses as soon as I started to take a sip. Followed by a slight ever-so taste of caramel, and then cedar. I dont really know how to describe it other than cedar. Hops are apparent in the taste, but not overwhelming. I actually enjoyed it. The after taste wasnt the best but while I'm drinking it, It's one of the closet things to a home brew. Delicious.

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Photo of tewaris
3.21/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2011 bottle poured into a Duvel glass. Pours rust brown with a dark tan colored big, creamy head. Medium retention, medium lacing.

The aroma is dominated by Kriek than anything else in my opinion. Some malty/caramel-y/candi sugar goodness dances in the background. Nowhere as massive as the best examples in its malts or spices though.

I loathed the taste initially but it seems to be growing on me. I am still having a hard time deciding whether the addition of Kriek works or not and I am leaning more towards the idea that it does. Still not sure if I would want Kriek in my Rochefort. Sweet caramel, slightly tart, definitely too bitter and appropriately tannic. A bit boozy at times.

The mouthfeel is certainly good with low carbonation and good presence on the palate, as one would expect from a bigger beer. All in all it's a pretty mediocre Quadrupel but then it's priced right. I doubt if I will drink it again.

4, 3, 3, 4.5, 3

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Photo of MiScusi
3.22/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2007, 12oz bottle.

A- dark reddish brown, beige and yellowish head.

S- dark fruit, Belgian yeast, smells like most dubbels to me, maybe a bit sweeter.

T- Stars out tasting sweet almost like a mild fruit juice. The cherry is pretty muted but its there in the middle. finishes dry and with a real earthy, dirt taste. I really like the start of the taste but do not like the aftertaste much.

M/D- pretty good here. Medium, has a bit of body on it but for a big beer it's still relatively light. Interesting beer but not something I would probably order again.

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Photo of ngandhi
3.22/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2003

Heady smells of kirsch and cherries stewed beneath a layer of dead leaves. Alcohol. Chocolate covered cherries and wheaty yeast on the palate; maybe a touch of iron. Thin raspberries; the lambic component is reminiscent of Rose de Gambrinus in that respect. Old dryer lint.

The integration of kriek and quad is strange to say the least and one does not accentuate the other. Though challenging, this beer still needs some time to calm down. The parts might ultimately each be greater than the whole.

Relax, relax.

P.S. I paired this with plain bittersweet chocolate wedges and it turned into ten times the beer it was on its own. The cocoa balances the quadruple part of the beer, the sugar and fat cancels out the alcohol, and the soft, luscious kriek element shines on through as well as an interesting Westy-inspired grape bubblegum finish. As a pairing, the Three Philosophers would merit at least a 4-point score, but it is indeed weak on its own.

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Photo of malcontent
3.22/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep red/brown poured into a snifter; not opaque but very hazy with very sturdy lacing after the head dies down. Definitely one of those beers that simply look like they must taste good.

Man! Flat-out loaded with fragrances. Sour cherry, roasted malt, English toffee, cream sherry & many others that my still-budding nose will be able to detect with more training. Looks & smells like a winner, just need to let it warm up a bit.

Hmm…tart (cherry) at first, but then spreads across the palate with a harsh-bitterness; like over-roasted malt which leaves a rather unwelcome aftertaste. Definite alcohol presence with a bread-like flavor in the back end, almost a marble rye. Not very enjoyable thus far but I think I’ll take Jason’s advice & pair it with some Danish blue.

After pairing with the cheese I must say there is some improvement in taste; the unsavory aftertaste is certainly reduced. However, I’m still just not wild about this beer.

Has a nice bubbly texture but then coats the mouth with some unwelcome astringency. That aside, it’s not nearly as heavy a brew as I’d expected & thus, if it’s to your taste, makes for a pretty drinkable beverage.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.24/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a very dark cherry color with a beautiful sticky head that did not want to leave.

Smell: Very malty aroma, molasses, some alcohol, and some cherries.

Taste: Very sweet. Molasses was all over the flavor. Slight fruity sweetness, but not necessarily cherries. There was a strong spiciness mostly from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: It seemed a little over carbonated for me.

Fairly drinkable but not exactly what I am looking for.

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Photo of sellmeagod
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Even when poured with care, this left a large head in the tulip glass. Smells of caramel, soy (!) and yeast, and the look stirs about some mysterious ideas.

In the mouth it is quite creamy and soft, and goes down easy enough for the circa 10 abv. The buttery joys of this mouthfeel are rarely felt. The taste lingers for awhile, so it is a slow drinker despite the good taste.

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Photo of BigMike
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bottle dated 3/21/10 which makes this 7 months old.

A: Murky reddish brown iced tea color. Minimal amount of tan off white head. Very thin maybe half a fingers worth.

S: Verynice chocolate toffee notes along with some sticky type fruits like dates and raisins. More so raisin. Nice belgian quality textbook quad nose.

T: alot of the cherry comes through initially and raisin. Most of the complexities from the nose don't seem to carry over to the taste.

M: Not overly impressed with the mouthfeel. A bit lighter and thinner then I like. Light carbonation and not difficult to drink.

Overall: Just a so so quad IMO. Not overly impressive. I expected this to be better.

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Photo of afksports
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I was so excited to open this beer, because it's the first craft beer given to me by my mother. I knew my previous Ommegang feelings had been mixed, but sentimentality goes a long way, people!

The appearance is a standard dark belgian style with deep reddish amber hues, solid lacing, and without too much head on the initial pour. Doesn't hang on the glass too much, which for the abv is a small surprise. It smells of deep cherry, lots of sweet malts, and whatever hops are in there are mostly covered. As far as taste goes, that description follows. Although it says on the bottle that it's 98% ale and 2% cherries, you really taste the cherry. Almost too much. This one reminds me of Brooklyn Local 2. Similar style, similar appearance, similar taste. But Local 2 had somewhat of a better composition. Something in this just doesn't work. Plus it's boozy.

I capped this one to save the nice carbonation and in the hopes that I would drink it later to get the value of the bottle. But I haven't returned to it. It's just not that appealing. Sorry, Mom. Still love you!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.26/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet. Vintage 2011.

Same appearance as it's younger abbey ale sibling. Body color is a great dark ruby and somewhat clear. Snapping noises come from the bubbles of the head. Seems to leave a good puck as well on the top.

Mild cherry, malt muted, very similar to regular abbey ale but seems a little thicker... perhaps bolder. I was hoping for something more pronounced but it's just not happening.

Taste is virtually nearly identical to it's sibling, with maybe a hint of chocolate milk on the finish. I am missing or not getting the fruit background off this at all, or a big malt caramel back bone for a quad. Somewhat milkshake like in body with a little fizz which is a classic touch, but missing the flavor punch I think needed for this style.

Overall I am not really that impressed by this quad, but it's certainly a good passable brew. Not for me.

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Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang
4.12 out of 5 based on 6,295 ratings.
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