I’m a huge baseball fan (go Braves!) and a huge beer fan (go beer!), yet I’ve never made the trip to Cooperstown, NY. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. If you’ve toured the brewery before, let me know what you thought. It looks quite intriguing in the pictures on their website. By the way, their website is quite sexy. On to the beer….
Appearance: This one pours a dark, burnt orange-brown color, with a modest, off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. While there is some lacing, I was expecting more.
Aroma: Stick your honker in the glass, and you’re inviting black licorice, cherries and Belgian yeast, mixed with a pinch of smokiness into your nostrils. The nose is complex, as expected. Very appealing….
Taste: I’ve never sat down and tried to make an all-time top 10 beer list, but when I do, this one is likely to be on that list. The taste picks up where the aroma leaves off. It starts off a tad on the sweet side, then the alcohol hits you. Next, the cherry flavor comes through, followed by just enough bitterness to let you know you’re drinking beer. Mouthfeel is medium, not as thick as expected. Because of this, the beer goes down quite quickly. I needed to remind myself to slow down and enjoy each sip.
Overall: This beer is impressive, and it certainly lives up to the hype. One of the best I’ve had in awhile. For a quad at 9.8%, this beer is very smooth. Dangerously smooth. This is one to keep in the back of the beer fridge for any fall or winter night. I realize that it’s summer, but it’s also 63 degrees right now, so this put me in the mood for fall. Cheers….
Where did this brew get its name? Three Philosophers is an oil painting on canvas attributed to the Italian High Renaissance artist Giorgione. It shows three philosophers — one young, one middle-aged, and one old. It was completed in the early 16 century. Here is a picture of the painting:
I wanted to know even more, and I found some interesting information on this blog. The writers claim that the following information is from the brewery itself:
“Realistically, the only solution was to find out from the brewery itself. Luckily they were helpful. The answer: It’s a reference to a William Blake’s An Island in the Moon, a satire written in 1784 and published posthumously. In the novel, there are three main characters:
- Quid the Cynic
- Suction the Epicurean
- Sipsop the Pythagorean
The brewers then extrapolated from the personalities of the characters to opine on the beer they had produced and was presumably nameless. The Three Philosophers, is a painting from early 16th century Italy, so the beer presumably takes its title from that, as if Blake’s characters were in the painting. If discussing the beer, Quid would question why the beer is necessary, Sipsop would question how it was possible to make such a beer, while Suction would simply enjoy the beer in all of its glory. Blake hated Suction and the materiality he represented. Obviously, the Ommegang brew squad feels differently. It gets kind of meta to think about how a beer was named for three fictional characters theoretically talking about it.”