This spring my I made a friendly wager with my good friend Ari on the winner of American League East (baseball for the non-sports fans). While I am a lifelong New Englander and huge Red Sox fan he lives in Long Island and roots for the Yankees. The bet was for a twelve pack of beer, style chosen by the winner. I reminded him of the bet after the Sox clinched the division and told him he could pay up at our annual fall guys weekend in November, we’d just grab something easy at the bottle shop. After this he proceeded to talk a crazy amounts of trash about the Red Sox playoff elimination and Yankees run to the ALCS, so I changed my mind and asked for a “12 pack” of Other Half (mostly to be a jerk, I knew it would be a pain for him to get). We eventually compromised, he would bring me 12 New York beers with a focus on stuff that wasn’t available in Massachusetts. He isn’t a huge beer guy, but he did a solid job picking. One beer in that pack which is vary much available in Massachusetts was Ommegang Three Philosophers, a stellar quadruple that I’ve enjoyed in the past but never had a chance to review. Even though this is a beer I can get around here, I’m not going to complain about it’s inclusion in the pack. Ommegang Three Philosophers is a mixture of 98% quadruple and 2% kreik, a sour ale with cherries. It is available year round in either 750 mL or 12 oz bottles.
Ommegang Three Philosophers pours deep red-brown with a solid off-white head. The aroma is a mixture of dark fruit from the malts and expressive Belgian style yeast. The malt leads the flavor, notes of brown sugar, plum and date. This is complemented by the yeast which adds touches of pear, apricot, clove and pepper. The cherry comes through a little, and melds in nicely with the malt and yeast flavors. There is minimal hop character, as you would expect from a quad. Three Philosophers is a full bodied sipper, but goes down dangerously easy for a beer with 9.7% ABV. I appreciate the small bottle size, way too many quads are sold exclusively in bombers. The finish is rich with lingering fruity yeast and no alcoholic burn. This is a stellar quadruple, one of my all time favorite versions of the style. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
Previous Ommegang Reviews: