Ommegang Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale

Ever work so hard that you set a precedent for the quality or volume of work that you do, and then you find that you started off too gung-ho, and now things are going to go downhill? Well, I really suspect that Ommegang has painted themselves into that kind of corner, but I want to keep seeing what they are doing.

The beautifully dark brown beer defeats light that tries to go through it pretty well. The head is significant and has a bit of staying power to the point that the settled head is still a powdery blanket across the top with thickness around the edges. Lacing is a no go, though, as the head just isn't sticky enough. The aroma is predictably raisins and plums, but cherries are highlighting it all nicely. If all goes well, they won't be sour cherries, but my luck couldn't be that good, could it?

First sip is a mixed bag. The cherries are sour, but the sourness isn't taking over the whole beer. Instead, the beer's inherent Belgian Ale qualities are kind of heightened by the cherries like a quick dusting of an antique belies the brightness that may lay underneath. I'm not sure I would sip this beer, but I'm not sure I would find the sipping unpalatable.

Tip-in is a brief glimpse of cherries followed by raisins, some dark fruits, and a crusty malt; carbonation is not entering into this at all. The middle is brown sugar, more dark fruits, and some alcohol joining the smiling cherries. The finish brings that slight twinge of sour with a heavier taste of some liquor with a goodly amount of alcohol.

Bottom Line: Not their best, but still descent.

2.5/5

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