Wednesday, January 31, 2007

99 Bottles of Beer on the Blog - Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend

Wow. This is an incredible beer - rich, complex, strong, sophisticated. It is a blend of cherry lambic and a dark belgian ale, and they complement each other wonderfully.

There's a recent commercial in which a group of men purport to issue a "man law" against fruit in beer. Three Philosophers is a demonstration in just how little the South African makers of Miller Light know about great beer. The presence of cherries in beer has a long history in Belgium. and they add a tart counterpoint to the rich malty sweetness of this very big (9.8% ABV) ale.

Unlike some beer with fruit, this beer is incredibly balanced - the cherry is only one element of its flavor. It has a rich, chocolatey taste as well, with a touch of sourness and just enough hop bitterness to keep the sweetness in check.

Belgian-style ales are my favorite beers in the world, and this one is produced by one of the best Belgian-style breweries outside of Belgium. The Ommegang Brewery of Cooperstown, NY has been brewing great beers for years, and it refuses to rest on its laurels. Their Ommegang Abbey ale is one of the best beers in the world, in my opinion, and definitely the best beer for the dollar I've ever found. One of their bottles, retailing under $5, is a worthy match for any import you can find at twice (or more) the price.

According to one website, "Three Philosophers is a remarkable limited edition strong ale brewed by Brewery Ommegang in response to a home brewer’s description of his dream beer., the internet’s largest beer website, hosted a contest called 'Create a Great Beer.' Brewery Ommegang was chosen by to brew the Belgian-style ale for the winning essayist. Noel Blake, a home brewer from Portland wrote the winning description for what his 'dream beer' would be like."

That's a cool story, and I'm not surprised that this unique and wonderful beer has roots in the world of homebrewing. Put your prejudices against fruit in beer aside, and give Three Philosophers a try.


Blogger les said...

I have a deep (and, of course, well founded and rational) prejudice against mucking up beer with fruit; and wheat and other chaff, as well. Your eloquence has overcome all--what's your local source of this nectar?

2/01/2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Les -

I'm pretty sure I got the bottle at Royal Liquors at 103rd and State Line. Umm, that was on a rare escape from my gritty, gritty urban core existence.

2/01/2007 8:07 PM  
Blogger ksader said...

BTW Royal Liquors has a very helpful staff as well. I picked up a bottle of three philos and as soon as I'm over my cold I intend to enjoy it.

2/03/2007 9:28 AM  
Blogger pomegranate said...

oh wow. i loved reading about this! we have to get some.

2/04/2007 3:02 PM  
Blogger Johnny Smoke said...

I stumbled on this entry... literally because I was goog-ling 3 philosophers. I saw Royal Liquors and knew I was in KC.

3P's is a good beer but it still doesn't outdo Arrogant Bastard Ale. Mmmmm... Arrogant Bastard

6/19/2007 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Johnny Smoke, The same exact thing happened to me!!

I picked up Three Philosophers for the first time last night at Metcalf Discount Liquor. It's the one on about 91st and Metcalf. They sell the 750ml bottle, as well as a four pack of 12oz. I bought the four pack.

This is an amazing beer. I can't write about beer as eloquently as some, but I know I'll definitely be coming back for more.

4/17/2008 3:12 PM  

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