Review of Ommegang Three Philosophers

12 Nov
Hello everyone.  Are you ready for another craft beer review?  I know I am.

Today, I’m going to be sipping on a 2011 Ommegang Three Philosophers produced by Brewery Ommegang located in Cooperstown, New York.

This beer has long been heralded as a spectacular brew within the craft beer community, and while I have had it before, it’s been some time since I last tried it.

So without further ado, let’s read a bit about it from the website,

Cynics can’t believe it, Epicures hail it a sensation, and Pythagoreans just can’t add up what makes this luscious blend of rich malty ale and cherry lambic so delightful.  It might be the flavor of dark chocolate and cherry cordials; it could be the way it acquires wisdom and grace in the cellar.  Maybe it’s a conundrum.  What’s your theory?

The essence of wonder is a unique and masterful blend of strong malty ale and authentic Belgian Kriek.  Our philosophers deduce that this powerful marriage of cherries, roasted malts, and dark chocolate will only achieve more wisdom and coherence as it broods in the dark recesses of your cellar. 

Let’s see how a fresh bottle tastes.

This brew comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 9.8%.  
The beer poured a murky brown to deep burgundy color.  The crown was of very good size, creamy and smooth.  The retention time was sufficient and the lacing looked very attractive.  Once the head settled it left a very silky, creamy film on top of the liquid.  It looked good in the glass. 
The aroma began with a tremendous amount of yeast, bread and sour dough.  This thing really does smell like liquid bread.  Dark fruits of fig and raisin add a nice touch along with a very deep, dark cherry note lying underneath the breadiness.  A hint or two of spice came through by way of some cloves, which helped solidify this very nice bouquet.  I didn’t find much alcohol in the smell, which surprised me considering the high ABV, nor did I find any chocolate.  The overall fragrance was fairly big and robust though.  Not too shabby. 
I found it to be very bready in the taste also.  Again, more detections of yeast, sour dough and dark fruits.  The spices seemed to be a bit more pronounced in the taste and the alcohol was quite a bit more revealing too.  I noticed that this brew had a minor “chalkiness” to the taste that seemed a little out of place, however it wasn’t too distracting.  As the brew warmed and developed I started to notice a flavor of cherry cough syrup.  Hmm.  I didn’t care for that much.  Again, I found no discernible chocolate savors.  Either way, the taste was still favorable, sweet, rich and robust. 
The mouthfeel was medium bodied, very smooth, creamy, soft and dry.  An apparent alcohol burn covered the mouth for the first few sips, which eventually gave way to a very satisfying warmth at the back end.  Enough flavor was left on the palate to keep me occupied between tastings.
Overall, I found this brew to be a good beer.  It’s not highly drinkable due to the high alcohol level and one would be all I would want at a given time, however with that being said, I would like to try this beer when it has a few years of age on it.  This drink is a cult classic in some circles and I feel it would be worth a try if you have not just to say you did so.  I think the Ommegang Three Philosophers is a good representation of the style, but, in my opinion, it’s not quite the “world class” beer that some have made it out to be.  Be sure to let me know what your opinion of it is if you have sampled it.   
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.  Until next time.
Score:  3.85 out of 5
Grade:  B+

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Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Country: USA, Ommegang


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