Josh Weikert's picture

Three Philosophers

Judges Rating: 
85
Aroma: 
20 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
16 / 20

Drinking this beer one gets the sense that it could be - and maybe should be - a bit more than what it is. While a tasty beer with a lot of character, it comes across like a great author who got a little too edited in the latest book. Certainly nothing to complain about, but not enough to keep you coming back for more either.

The beer pours a clear amber with a low tan head, and the first scent on the air is a moderate amount of dark fruit. Plums, cherries, and a low perfumy alcohol note create a pleasant but not really "rich" aroma, and a subtle spicy (clove, allspice) background note become a bit more prominent as it warms. Overall though, the aroma feels more restrained than one would expect from a Belgian Dark Strong.

The flavor mirrors the aroma, but adds some depth to the fruit. Cherry and raisin join the party, with a low level of alcohol sweetness. Despite that, the finish is semi-dry, with a light lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. A hint of warming in the mouthfeel suggests some alcohol as well, but the beer never comes across as being particularly strong.

I would never call this anything but a good beer, but as a Belgian strong ale, it's a little bit of a letdown. It's balanced, which for this family of beers isn't exactly a compliment, as they tend towards a dramatic malt-forward complexity. A very nice glass of beer, for sure, but no head-turner.