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12 Beers for the New Year: Ommegang Three Philosophers

The beer for Day 3 is Three Philosophers, a quadruple (quad) ale from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. This beer has quite an interesting backstory. The beer was conceptualized in 2001 when hosted an essay contest. Participants were asked to submit a pretend version of an “ideal beer”. A guy from Portland, Oregon, Noel Blake, submitted the details for what is now Three Philosophers.

The beer itself is also very interesting, in that Three Philosophers is a blend of 98% Belgian ale and 2% Liefman’s Kriek. Kriek beer is a lambic, a beer spontaneously fermented with wild yeast, and sour Morello cherries.

One of the first things to realize about this beer is that the ABV is exceedingly high at 9.7%. So it’s a good thing I only purchased a single 12 oz bottle at Premiere Gourmet.

I poured this beer into my souvenir Ommegang glass. Here’s a picture of my Three Philosophers beer:

Three Philosophers

Brewery Ommegang: Three Philosophers
ABV: 9.7%
Style: Quadrupel (Quad)
Rating: #22 in style

Three Philosophers certainly possesses lots of foam and head retention. The aroma is predominantly Belgian yeast esters and a tad of tartness. I’m guessing this beer was fermented at warmer temperatures using the signature Ommegang house yeast. Yeast flavors such as banana and clove come through in the taste, along with the sour cherries. As I let the beer warm, I detected more cherry flavor. There is no hop presence to speak of at all in this beer. And after a few sips you can definitely taste and feel the 9.7% alcohol burn.

Accordingly to the Ommegang website, Three Philosophers is “made for contemplation”, and I can see why. I’m contemplating how a single beer can pack such a kick. I’m also contemplating laying down. See you all for Beer 4!

This is Day 3 of 12 Beers for the New Years. To see the other reviews, click here:
Day 2: Two Roads Road 2 Ruin
Day 1: Brooklyn Local 1



About Buffalo Beer Biochemist

Born and raised in Western New York. Ph.D. in Biochemistry. Professor of Microbiology and Chemistry. And lover of beer.

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