Three Philosophers - Red Wine Barrel-Aged
Brewery Ommegang

Three Philosophers - Red Wine Barrel-AgedThree Philosophers - Red Wine Barrel-Aged
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Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #92
Ranked #9,415
4.06 | pDev: 5.91%
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States
Very Good
Three Philosophers - Red Wine Barrel-AgedThree Philosophers - Red Wine Barrel-Aged
Notes: After a three month sojourn in red wine casks, our celebrated blend of quadrupel ale and authentic Belgian kriek reaches new realms of complexity. The wine barrels impart subtle flavors of oak and dark fruit, and impose an appealing tannic structure.
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 44 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of arizcards
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 16oz single from the Craft Beer Hop Stop cooler on 9-12-19 for $4.99. Best by 28MAY2021; consumed on 12-3-19.

Beer poured reddish brown with a nice off white head with the original pour.

Nose is nice, cherry forward with notes of dark berries and hints of figs and currants.

Taste has notes of figs and currants along with the berry impartation from the wine barrels all combining nicely with the cherry kriek base.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall the wine barrel aging definitely enhances the base quad/kriek beer by making it softer and lessening the cherry impact. Nice job Ommegang!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Belgian yeast that imparts some spice and fruitiness, cherries, and vinous barrel notes with some tannins and vanilla. Quite complex

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the Belgian yeast and cherry notes. Dark fruit and spices most present via the yeast. Some vinous notes from the wine barrel. Oak, vanilla, and tannins also present. Finishes with lingering yeast influence and cherry

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A very nice Three Philosophers variant that adds a bit of nuance to an already nuanced brew. The barrel doesn’t overwhelm the base by any means and smooths it out nicely. Check it out

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a darkish reddish brown color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

The aroma presents with dark dried fruit, cherry, red wine, spice, oak, caramel, port, rum-soaked bread, and candi sugar.

Red wine barrels feel like a natural pairing with Three Philosophers. The fruitiness of the wine plays well against the cherry in the base beer, and amplify the delicious light dark fruit flavor. There's some crisp clove and Belgian yeast, along with a light malty sweetness. There's some oak and a pleasant spiced character, almost like mulled wine.

This is medium bodied, pretty creamy, and very drinkable, with not much booziness to it.

It almost feels weird that Ommegang hasn't done this beer yet - wine barrels are a perfect foil to this classic quad.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brewery Ommegang "Three Philosophers - Wine Barrel-Aged"
1 Pint can coded "L052819 17:49 28MAY2021F" and sampled on 12NOV2019
$5.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: I'm not sure if this makes a very good breakfast beer, but here goes, although a pint of 9.3% ABV might put me out of commission by lunchtime. It's poured a hazy, very deep chestnut brown colored body beneath a massive head of spongy looking yellowish khaki colored foam. The aroma displays some light cherry, a light bit of raisin, and a touch of caramel. Ahhh, there's actually some wine and oak in there as well! Very nice. On to the taste, I'm getting the same impressions that I found in the aroma. The cherry is there, but there's also some apple, pear and raisin that are quite prevalent as well. I even get a note of strawberry that's probably coming from a combination of things. The mild red wine and oak come through nicely, and there's a touch of caramel, but I think even a stronger note of molasses. I'm not finding any hops other than a background note of leafiness but I wasn't expecting hops any way. It's sweetish upfront, but certainly not 'sweet', and it dries out a bit in the finish with dried dark-skinned fruit, a touch of bitterness, and some very mild oaky dryness lingering. The alcohol has a presence, which is good, you want that, but it never really steps forward from the shadows - although it also helps to dry the finish. In the mouth it's medium bodied and remarkably smooth with a median, very fine-bubbled carbonation. I recall that I really liked the original Three Philosophers although I haven't had it in years, and I wish I'd bought a bottle for comparison but I did not. I know that this is a bit of a different beast, and that it's more complex, and although that doesn't necessarily make a beer better (sometimes simpler is better) I can only imagine that this is better - at least to me. I've also bought two more of the Three Philosopher variants and I hope they treat me as well.
Review # 6,782

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Photo of Roguer
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark pinkish-red from the can, settling into the glass as a dark, red-tinged mahogany color. Strong head production and retention; at least two fingers of dark tan foam are produced from a moderate pour, and 15 minutes later the head is still firm, with about 1/4 finger topping the perfectly clear body.

Red wine is a perfect complement for Three Philosophers, with the barrel influence adding seamlessly with Ommegang house yeast, dark malts, and Kriek. Fruit cake, raisin, date, prune, wheat bread, red grapes, red wine, oak, a touch of brown sugar, cola.

Flavor follows. On the slightly sweeter side for a quad, due to a combination of factors, not the least of which are the cherries. The wine barrel influence is noticeable up front, blending with cherries and dark fruit. Rich dark bread
Brown sugar finish, giving way to slight cola. Rich and wonderful.

Boozy and hot, but not unpleasantly so; this is a brew that announces rather than hides its potency. Heat starts to arrive mid-sip, building through the final third and into the finish.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

its amazing they have put this beer in a red wine barrel, and even cooler that its in cans, making it affordable and something i dont have to feel bad about opening and drinking to myself like i would with a 750ml bottle. although, it does make this less suitable for cellaring, and this is surely a beer that would evolve nicely over time. i love the base beer obviously, its an institution a this point, so rich and complex, a wonderful blend of quad and kriek. the wine barrels add a lot, although maybe not as much as i thought they would, it must not have aged all that long, as the oak character remains well behind the rich malt in here, and the fruitiness of the wine does not rise up above the cherry element. its gorgeous looking beer in a huge red wine glass, frothy tan headed, fancy looking, very belgian, and rich and full bodied. hints of raspberry and cherry, port wine, and alcohol right away, with the caramelized grains and belgian yeast coming next, some peppery spice to it, a cognac note, some sweetness as well, really nuanced and complex, shockingly so as it warms. its frothy feeling, round and smooth, even with the appreciable alcohol presence, and there is some tang to the cherry and a touch of the lambic funk coming through too, which the wood seems to like and bring out a little more. i could have handled a little more barrel and wine character to this, but the subtlety is nice too, and this was an amazing beer to have with red wine braised beef short ribs last night. the beer highlight of a pretty beery day! cant wait to try the bourbon barrel version of this, i hope it comes around here in idaho!

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Photo of Treyliff
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky brown color with a one finger foamy off white head that reduces to a ring around the glass

S- Belgian candy sugars and spicy yeast, followed by figs, raisins, dark cherries and plumbs. Light oaky and vinous undertonewith just a hint of tartness

T- initially sweet with notes of raisins, dogs, caramel candies and prunes. Followed by a slight acidic cherry tartness. Mid-palate gives notes of spicy Belgian yeast, dark breads, molasses & brown sugar. The finish gives more peppery yeast, as well as just a hint of wine barrel that enhances the cherry note on the linger

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a slightly warming finish

O- the barrel nitrsnare subtle, but compliment a solid base beer

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Photo of jkblr
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can stamped L052819 14:21 28MAY2021F (almost 4 months old) poured into an Ommegang signature glass at just above fridge temp 9.3% ABV. The beer pours bright light brown with ruby highlights and light brown head. The head recedes to a pencil thin ring and island of tiny bubbles. Minimal lacing. The aroma is faint with cherry, red grapes and a bit of brown sugar. The taste is semisweet grape & cherry juice mixed with complex Belgian malt and dark candi sugar. There is a hint of oak in the drying, very mildly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation. No alcohol presence in the aroma or taste. Overall, very good. Just because I can't pick out a ton of individual flavors or scents doesn't mean this beer isn't delicious. I don't get a huge change from regular 3 Philosophers, but it's very well integrated and it works.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: at first glance, it’s opaque and dark brown; if held to the light, it’s crystal clear and a reddish rust color; 1 finger finely pored tan head that receded to a thick collar; no lacing;

S: a lot of funky cherry, but with chocolate, spice, and dark fruit there as well;

T: funky chocolate covered cherries; the aftertaste is a wee bit harsh;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: a very interesting combination of flavors and aromas; didn’t really get any red wine character;

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pours a nice tan head that dissipates quickly but leaves a little bit around the inside of the glass's edge and on the surface. The beer itself is a good mix of purple and brown with an opaque look to it.

The smell is pretty good. The beer has a nice and decent smell to it. The strongest smell is the yeast with Belgian sugar notes alongside dark fruits such as date and raisin from the malt notes. There is a slightly bitter hop note and alcohol but nothing else. There does not seem to be any barrel notes though.

The taste is pretty good with the base notes coming straight out. The main notes are the dark fruit and lightly caramel notes alongside a now present light cherry tart note. There is a light oak note in the finish and some red grape note in the finish but not much otherwise.

The feel is good. It has a heavy body but the carbonation is fairly foamy, thus giving it a bubbly feel to it.

Overall, this was a pretty good base beer but does not really deliver on the wine barrel aging.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by May 28, 2021
Pours a very large creamy foamy dense tan 1.5 finger head with great retention, good lacing as well, dark hazy mahogany brown color

Nose big sweet funky cherry, little sour cherry with some Belgian yeast phenol spices, sweet candy malt, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, raisiny/plum dark fruits, a touch of buttery oak, bready yeast, fair yeasty aroma, hint of perfumey alcohol, not really any red wine

Taste sweet candy malt, toffee, with big caramel, toffee, a little butterscotch, candi sugar and sweet brown malts, little biscuity, sweet cherry in the background, as well as a little sour cherry, mild Belgian yeast phenol spices again, more dark fruits with fig and date mostly, a little candied brandy soaked raisin, light oak but again not really any red wine (up front), a little on the back end, but not a ton, light smooth alcohol, hint of chocolate, cake icing, sticky sweet finish, very little alcohol

Mouth is fuller bod, syrupy, medium carb, very little alcohol warmth

Overall base beer is good, although too yeasty on the nose, not enough cherry on the taste, decent base malts, Belgian yeast fruit esters and phenol notes, but the lack of red wine barrel is sad

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Released August 2019; drank 9/1/19 @ the Yarchives.

Cloudy brown/orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a big khaki head; frothy lace.

Clove, mild merlot & faint wheat notes in the nose.

Creamy, medium mouthfeel.

Cream, clove & faint merlot flavors up front; wheat & faint cherry notes on the finish.

More of a quad than anything else; the kriek & the wine barrel don't add too much here. A decent quaff.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can poured into an Ommegang tulip.

deep chestnut / Cola brown. Short tan head.

Plum, cherry, raisin, and Pinot Noir.

Black cherry, plum, date, and raisin. Light Pinot Noir and Concord grape jelly.

Light bodied, subtly sweet, and tart.

Very subtle beer. Hides the 9.3% exceptionally well.

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Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a mahogany with glowing ruby hues; nice creamy khaki head that falls slowly leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are malt forward. Hints of vanilla, coconut, banana and cherries. Some caramel and toffee. Dark fruits are there. Mild yeast aromas. The red wine barrel characteristics are subtle in the aroma department. The flavors basically follow the nose, but are bolder. More banana along with some hints of bubblegum. More cherry coming through in the finish. More dark fruits. Raisins and plum comes through. More subtle hints of vanilla and coconut. The red wine characteristics are subtle, but there, especially in the finish. Nice malt backbone. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied with moderate to low carbonation. It's creamy, fluffy, slightly velvety, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice brew. The red wine barrel characteristics are subtle, but ultimately balanced. The craftsmanship is on point. It's enjoyable and fun to drink. I like it.

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Photo of good_to_sea
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark, somewhat opaque brown with a vanishing brown head.
Smell: Chocolate and cherries. Banana/acetone Belgian yeast aroma. Boozy wine aroma. Oak and graham cracker. Nothing overwhelming here, just lots of nice, subtle aromas.
Taste: Caramel and toffee. Buttery oak/wine flavor. Tart, acidic wine flavor. Cherry, plum, and a little bit of dark chocolate throughout. The tart, dry wine finish mixes well with the sweet dark malt flavors of the underlying beer.
Feel: Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated.
Overall: I absolutely love the subtle cherry flavor in Three Philosophers, and it works just as well in this version. Now I have to decide which version I like more...

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Had this on-tap at Brewmasters - Wilson, poured into a snifter glass. Had a deep, dark, mahogany brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head.

S: A decent aroma of dark fruit, malt, a vinous quality, wood, chocolate, and molasses.

T: Tasted of a bit of the advertised vinous quality (and its accompanying barrel), some light chocolate notes (kind of fleeting), a lot of dark fruit (figs, plums), and light malt notes. This isn't quite as robust as expected, but it still has a nice subtlety to it. Gets better as you go along.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a sharp finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A solidly made, easy to drink beer. Worth a look.

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Photo of VoodooBear
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: 16 oz. can with the canning and best by dates etched on the bottom. Served in a Teku glass.

Appearance: The off white, one finger head goes away fairly quickly and leaves behind some patchy lacing. It's a dark, reddish brown color. When held up to light, it takes on a deep, hazy, garnet hue.

Smell: It's a sweet aroma of malt, cherries and dried fruit. A strong, alcoholic wine scent shows up in the background too.

Taste: It starts fruity and sweet with some cherries, figs, molasses and brown sugar. There's also a slight malt graininess. The spicy, whine barrel alcohol comes on strong in the aftertaste and stays throughout.

Mouthfeel: It's quite smooth, slightly creamy and medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: At times, the wine barrel character imparted on the beer is on the verge of taking over and it masks some of the other flavors that are there. That said, it does help tame this quad and is still an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of mmilyko
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Actually liked this quite a bit. The red wine barrel aging adds a very interesting finish to the cherry hints of the classic original. I have to place it a notch below the original, however, which is one of the best quads out there.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This really good. I have a love/hate with quads. Some I love some I hate and I’ve never been really good at describing why. For me the red wine cuts and otherwise brightens the heaviness that you sometimes get with quads.

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Three Philosophers - Red Wine Barrel-Aged from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 44 ratings