Brewery: Brewery Ommegang
Beer: Three Philosophers (2012)
Style: Belgian Quadrupel
Character: Brewed as a unique blend of a Belgian-style dark ale (98%) and Liefmans Kriek (2%)
Ratings: BA: 92 | RB: 99
Metal Connection: DEATH – The Philosopher
BeerMetalDude Rating: 5/5
There comes a beer that is just too perfect for it’s own right. Three Philosophers by Brewery Ommegang (NY) is one of those beers. I remember buying this beer for the first time back in 2011. I remember wanting this beer cause it reminded me of a killer tune called The Philosopher by legendary Death Metal band, Death. We’ll get more into that later…
Well, apparently I bought a single bottle of the 2012 vintage on this amazing Belgian-style Quad, and it stayed in my cellar for several years, until the end of 2016, when I finally decided to crack this bottle open, and give this beer a proper review here on the site.
My first encounter with this amazing beer was way before Untappd, so I am not sure of the year, but I want to y I had it in 2009. Back then, the label on the bottle looked a lot different. I remember the re-branding that Ommegang did back then, so I was drawn to the new label of Three Philosophers. The main color has been changed from white to a kind of purple taupe color, which I happen to like a lot better. The main art piece is a silhouette clip art drawing feature 3 different men, or “philosophers” all drinking or holding a glass of beer in hand. Nothing really crazy going on here, but definitely a nice change from their old boring white labels with mostly text.
I poured this beer into a Lakewood Brewing Company tulip glass. The appearance was a clear dark cherry color topped with a large 1 inch light tan foamy head. Great retention of the head, leaving a web of lacing down the glass.
The aroma had a strong Belgian quality of banana, blended with sweet brown sugar, caramel malt, dark fruits like raisins, prunes, dark cherry juice, and dark rye bread as the main characters here. There was a nice blend of spices like white pepper, and star anise. The lingering aroma was banana, dark cherry juice, and rye bread.
The taste was so similar to the aroma. The presence of strong banana up front mixed with the notes of sweet brown sugar, caramel malt, dark fruits like raisins and prunes, dark cherry juice, and dark rye bread. Again, the undertone of the body of this beer is all spices like white pepper, and star anise. The aftertaste was banana, dark cherry juice, and rye bread.
I thought the medium body, with it’s smooth and oily mouthfeel was complimentary to the overall flavor. There was a nice boozy burn still with this vintage bottle. The carbonation was moderate. Nice dry finish working right along side the aftertaste.
My overall opinion on this beer is that this is one of my favorite beers of all time. I fell in love with it several years ago, and I still highly enjoy it to this day. I mean, shit, look at this example here, an almost 5 year old bottle that held up beautifully, at least in my opinion. So, here is a beer that is amazing aged as it is fresh. This is the beer that introduced me to Brewery Ommegang, and I have since been a fan of their beers. I don’t see them as much in town as I used to, but when I do, I try to get my hands on the bottles I see.
Metal Connection: This one was seriously chosen on it’s own. I always thought of a certain song even when I first drank this beer. The chorus ran through my head as I drank each sip. Eventually, as the effects of the alcohol kicked in, I would eventually just start doing my best Chuck Schuldiner impression, and belch out at the top of my lungs “The Philosopher…You know so much about nothing at all.” So, yes, I am speaking of the ever so popular song “The Philosopher” by the Godfathers of Death Metal, Death.
This song was released on their 1993 full length album, Individual Thought Patterns on Relativity Records. At this point, the band was really moving into the technical progressive style Thrash/Death Metal approach, leaving behind simple guitar riffs and typical song structures like they had on previous albums. On this album, main song writer, guitarist/vocalist, Chuck Schuldiner enlisted the help of guitarist, Andy LaRocque (King Diamond), bassist, Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus, Testament, among others), and drummer, Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Testament, Zimmers Hole, among others) as with all the albums since 1991’s Human album, Death had rotating band members on each album leading up to their last, 1998’s The Sound of Perseverance. Riding along side of Death in the mid-late 90’s, Chuck Schuldiner also had a progressive power metal band, Control Denied. They would release one full length album, The Fragile Art of Existence in 1999. This would be the last studio album for Chuck Schuldiner, as he passed away in 2001 due to an ongoing battle with a brain tumor. His legacy lives on!!!