Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) Review

If my previous touch with Ommegang was bad, this more than made up for it…

Appearance – A bit less carbonated than I expected, there wasn’t even a pop from the bottle. The pour revealed a bit of a head, which seemed to lay low and stick around. There was a good, but not spectacular bit of lace. If you sat around in a cave for three years, you might not be terribly exciting either.

Smell – Really good. Dark fruit, toffee (but not butter), coffee, vanilla, but not roasty despite what you would expect given the flavor profile. No astringency, hops, tannins. Reminds me of dark port wine. Cherries and dark malts, but nothing that screams syrup or otherwise artificial flavors and colors. Does not contain MSG.

Taste – Ah, the big one. Whereas the other Ommegang seemed like it was all hands with dark malt syrup and cherry soda, this one had hit it’s stride. The cherry note is still there, but no longer soda syrup. The dark malts are there. You can even find some hops in there. But I do think there’s oak in the back, maybe some dryness on the sides and combined with the nose, that seems to indicate coffee and port wine. The effect is spectacular, and there’s absolutely no alcohol taste to be found. This is good – it’s aged spectacularly well.

Mouthfeel – About right. A bit heavy, but this is required. More carbonation would be nice but I do understand the corks can be iffy. I sort of wish it did have more carbonation though, either the blending got it or the corks don’t hold enough pressure for me.

Drinkability – Very drinkable for a quad. Drink responsibly, this one absolutely will sneak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

Ommegang Abbey Ale

Dear Beergod,
Please don’t give me any other abominations like this. There had to be something wrong with this bottle considering the other reviews here. Still, I am so shamed at having finished it that I must write down my folly here to serve as a warning to others.

Appearance – No complaints. Good head. Good retention. Good lace. Looks nice and dark, almost a chocolate red.

Smell – Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It smells dark, malty, and there’s a ton of cherry in there. What else is in there? Dogfood. I didn’t put my finger on it until my buddy (also tasting with me from the same bottle) said, “Is that dogfood?” So we cleaned our glasses, had some water, smelled some coffee, and poured it again. It’s dogfood. We did it again. Again, dogfood. This beer was brewed with Failure.

Taste – This is a belgian? This is dark malt and cherries. Exactly. It I almost suspect counterfeit like some kind of Belgian Bond, Double-Oh Lager. It’s got none of the nose and none of the taste for the style, and it tastes spot on for cherry syrup and munton’s dark malt extract.

Mouthfeel – Really good actually. A bit syrupy though, but the bubbles offset this.

Drinkability – Not going to have a second glass, but I did finish the first by not breathing. I’ve had worse.

Ommegang Hennepin

Not too huge on this one, but I’m not huge on Ommegang either. Our bottle smelled flat, with a bit of wet cardboard. Considering this was supposed to be “fresh” (literally purchased that day from the distributor), this was a disappointment.

Appearance – Spot on for a farmhouse ale. Little bubbles, cloudy, the right color. Good head through the bottle, retention was about average if not on the quick side.

Smell – Wet cardboard. Funk. I’m not sure if the cardboard was supposed to be there or not, it lacked the taste. However, it had the funk, but didn’t really strike me like Saison Dupont did. There’s the right smell, but it’s not terribly complex. It smells like a Saison, but doesn’t really smell distinctive. There’s no reward for shaking it, swirling it, or otherwise messing with it.

Taste – Spot on for a saison, spicy, yeasty. Does not taste oxidized despite the smell which made me think that the cardboard was something else. Again, the smell notes apply here. It’s a saison, but not terribly unique among the style. Hops come through about midway, but even then they’ve faded past distinction. Everything is muted. It’s not bad, but it’s not stellar.

Mouthfeel – bubbly, a bit of chew. Sort of thin. Not enough bubbly.

Drinkability – I like the style, and nothing here is so aggressive that you couldn’t finish the bottle.