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RATINGS: 2573   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82/5   IBU: 19   EST. CALORIES: 291   ABV: 9.7%
Three Philosophers is a unique blend of a Belgian-style dark ale and Liefmans Kriek, an authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Cherry chestnut in color, it’s opaque but not cloudy with full carbonation topped by a smooth, tan head. Flavors and aromas of roasted malt, molasses and brown sugar, dark fruits, brandied raisins and chocolate, Three Philosophers has notable sweetness with low hop bitterness. The mid-palate shows a soft malt center which gives way to a dry, warm, wine-like finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
progrock (21) - Sacramento, California, USA - DEC 30, 2005
Having practically single-handedly exhausted my local-area supply of this amazing brew I must state that this beer improves immensly with aging. Early examples have been extremely complex, on par or exceeding Rochefort 10. Newer samples have been slightly less balanced. Caramel, raisins, plum, fig, cherry-liqeur. This beer is an eye-opening experience when at its best.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
thehinge (292) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - DEC 27, 2005
Pours a burgundy color with an off white head. Aroma has hints of caramel. Taste has sour fruits throughout with a little bitter hops on the finish. This is outstanding.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Goblincat (399) - Petersburg, Michigan, USA - DEC 26, 2005
Pours a dark brownish red, with a short lived light brown head. A nose of port, rum, malt, alcohol, and a bit of sour fruit. Has a smooth mouthfeel with a light bite on the finish. The taste is nice, a rich mix of what I can only guess a hard wood would taste like, caramel, and sour cherries. An interesting and somewhat different blend that is good for a tasting.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kepano (261) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 25, 2005
The description got me excited to give Ommegang one more chance after two disappointing experiences with the brewery. Quadrupels and lambics are two of my favorite styles, but their combination sounded audacious. I was hoping for a good surprise, while staying suspicious of Ommegang’s unashamed demeanor. A fluffy custard head lightly topped the dark bordeaux body in an admittedly majestic fashion. The aroma of Griotte cherries emanated from the glass and with closer inspection revealed subtle notes of figs, dried fruits and pine with an underlaying sweetness of brown sugar and caramel. Quite pleasant to the nose. The flavor however is obliterating of alcohol and sourness that clashes with the bitter roasted coffee finish. While I enjoy the complexity and individual flavors, this fusion is entirely unsuccessful to me. It seems that this sour cherry flair should have been incorporated more conscientiously rather than what seems like a crude mélange of two very different beers. I dare say this might be the last nail in the coffin for me and Ommegang who continue to leave me unimpressed with their underwhelming products.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Immy (1955) - Virginia Beach, USA - DEC 21, 2005
I pulled the cork on this one as a little birthday present to myself. Muddy brown pour with a thick, long-lasting brown head. Nose is sweet and fruity, mostly dark fruits (as a quad should be) but with a slight overabundance of cherry. This beer gets considerably better and more complex as it warms, but the flavors seem to actually diminish in intensity. Flavor is mostly dark fruits - raisin, fig, date - until the finish. Then you get the zing of sour/tart cherry. Finish is pretty clean. This should get MUCH better as it cellars, but even now, I really like it. An interesting twist on a classic style.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Fantomas23 (463) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 16, 2005
I feel wiser having just had a sip, for better or worse. Orange hued, brown ale. Pleasing dark fruit flavored with more cherries than what’s palatable. Perhaps a bit too alcoholic/medicinal on the finish, then again the brew was just bottled this year. Some aging might serve it well. I have to say that I was kind of looking forward to this one; it sounded like something special. Overall, it’s not bad (which means it’s not great either and therefore nothing special). Slightly disappointed? Yeah. But it should be easy enough to get without pouring your time down the drain if you want to try it yourself.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
acertain (249) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 16, 2005
Aroma had some interesting yeasty and fruits smells, but I also got a hint of something off/sour. The appearance was dark amber and cloudy with a white head that collapsed into a rolling terrain. Interesting flavors, including caramel. At the end of the day, though, it just didn’t quite come together for me into a steller brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GarrettB (1474) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 14, 2005
UPDATED: SEP 16, 2007 Joke: what do you get when you put three philosophers together? A confused treatise? A sophisticated debate? Clash of ideologies? No, no, and no. You get a horribly transmogrified beer whose utter lack of flavor blending leaves the drinker in stylistic revulsion. The Three Philosophers beer from Ommegang is some kind of Frankesteinian beast, with half of a sweet Kriek like taste hanging from the left and a bread compound of flavors dangling, pendulous, on the right. One could garner the same effect by sipping an Oude Kriek and then sipping an IPA. No, I don’t want the two of them in a single beer. And even if I did I’d want to see them blended together and mixed to make something new. Instead, Ommegang took two distinct flavors and put them on either side of a plexiglass wall to gawk at each other. Mary Shelley’s book is getting a bit old…maybe we need to find a new Modern Prometheus. The dirtied red color of this beer would be a nice change of pace from the stereotyped macabre green of your marketable Frankenstein, and the smells of cherry mixed with an odd “temperate rain forest aroma” would be a refreshing turn from the monstrous stenches common in movies. Best yet, the bifurcated and divided flavors perfectly reflect the image of a hideous monster, sewn together by a crazy (and ultimately unimaginative) mad scientist: Dr. Ommegang. This beer isn’t so wretched that it can be given a trip to the drain, but the disappointing and nebbish attempt to blend flavors inures the palate. In other words, you learn to live with the abomination. As for me, I won’t be going out (with pitchfork or what have you) hunting for this beast anytime soon.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BrockLanders (780) - Panama City, Florida, USA - DEC 11, 2005
UPDATED: APR 23, 2006 Bottle at Kellys in Dunedin. Poured a dark-reddish brown..minimal off-white head. This place doesn’t go through a lot of these so this was has been around quite a while. Aroma initially was all bottle, but a sweet maltiness prevailed....fruity sweet malts at that. Full-bodied as I let it warm a bit. Better than anticipated. There’s some underlying bitterness, but I had to dig deep to find it. I enjoyed this ale...nice fruits and sweet brown sugary malts carry on with a nice dry slight hop finish. I’ll get this again when I visit Kellys...none of the locals want it!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (13595) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2005
Bomber corked bottle. Poured an amber color with a medium light brown head that diminished quickly. Good sweet fruity aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture. Full fruity toffee flavor with a long bitter sweet finish. No alcohol bite at the finish. Very good holiday brew.

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