You know you’re a lush when you roll through the grocery store checkout line with a basketful of beer and little else. I try to explain it away by saying I’m sharing, I don’t drink it all at once and I have to taste test things. I’m a food blogger.
So I’m legitimizing the basketful of beer I brought home last weekend with a review, though it be a well-warranted one.
I’m always looking to try something new, and I hit up several grocery stores that often have good beer selections. One being the beer aisles of Central Market in Poulsbo, the occasional gem found at the Red Apple in Silverdale and on occasion Fred Meyer in Bremerton. I’m also told the Albertson’s in Port Orchard also has a top-notch selection, though I’ve not seen it for myself.
On this particular day, I was in Fred Meyer. Not actually for beer, but while I was there … Their overall beer selection is OK, but what makes this place stand out are the Belgians. I picked out a few based on some vague memories of hearing the name from friends, beer sites or maybe just walking through a beer aisle one too many times.
But the first bottle we cracked, a Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel) from Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York, was a delight. It was my first quadrupel, a Belgian ale that isn’t as common as its sibling the Tripel ale. It’s more akin to wine, and has the same ability to improve with age.
But to heck with the aging (for now), on to the opening:
The bottle has instructions for pouring. That’s how serious it is. They mostly caution you to pour carefully so as not to disrupt too much sediment from the bottom.
It pours out dark amber with ruby notes in the color. There’s a fair amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle
Taking a good whiff before drinking, you get a malty fruity note. This beer is blended (as the name implies) with cherry Lambic (98-percent ale, 2-percent cherry) , but it’s not overt and it’s not cloyingly sweet.
Overall, it’s a complex beer mixing creamy notes with a fresh note from the cherry. It’s a fairly malty beer but doesn’t feel too heavy. It’s warming and, without too much bitter tone, very drinkable.
The slightly sweet and fruit tones paired well with the smoky, spicy kebabs I made. Heck, we may have thought it paired well with anything after half a glass. The beer has 9.8 percent alcohol by volume.
But don’t just take my word for it. Try it yourself (assuming you’re of drinking age, etc., etc.) or read reviews from more experienced beer reviewers than I: the beer geeks over at beeradvocate.com, have a fair set of reviews. Of the more than 1,000 reviewers, Three Philosphers got an overall A- rating.