Ommegang Three Philosophers

Brewery Ommegang

Cooperstown, NY

Three Philosophers Belgian Quad

9.8% ABV

With my last Ommegang review looking at the lighter side of the spectrum, I thought it fitting to go all the way to the other extreme and look at one of the brewery’s bigger offerings.

I don’t remember the first time I had Three Philosophers, but I bet two things happened when I did: 1) It knocked me on my ass, and 2) I absolutely loved it. As a longtime fan of Belgians, having a style as great as a quad blended with kriek is a great combination. The rich, dark fruit qualities of the quad are giving a light and tart sweetness from the cherry flavors. It’s definitely a sipper, but one you’ll want to savor.

The pour is a murky brown color with a redish tint. There’s a finger of head, although that dissipates to film on the top fairly quickly. Pretty good lacing brought on by the bit of lingering head and some nice strong alcohol legs from the nearly 10% ABV.

On the nose is a rich bready note with a hint of cherries to it. It’s a big, chewy breadiness mixed with those classic quad notes: figs, rasins, plums and molasses. The cherry is also very prevalent, giving it that rich sweet smell. It’s more of a black cherry smell, which blends nicely with the other dark fruits. The Belgian yeast is very noticeable and strong as well.

First thing on the tastebuds is the standard quad taste with that great hint of cherry added to it. The carbonation is very strong on the front. Caramel and toffee notes are the first thing that hit you, followed by the dark fruits. It ends with a great tart cherry flavor on the back. That strong breadiness and malt blend is also prevalent on the back. There’s a very big mouthfeel that really lingers, too.

This, to me, is a “gateway” quad. While quad’s aren’t really a hard style to get into, the more you have them, the more you appreciate their different subtleties, and this is a great way to get someone started.

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