Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

Not Rated.
Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,110 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,110
Hads: 3,089
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 169
Gots: 464 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,110 | Hads: 3,089
Photo of GreenWBush
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I can't believe I haven't tried this yet alone reviewed it as Ommegang and Hennepin are beer-fridge staples.

Evacuates the large and attractively printed bottle crackling and noisy. Shaded pumpkin in color, Rare Vos produces a productive head that blossoms beautifully over my tulip glass. Lace appears before the first sip and sticks with a vengence all the way through.

The main thing to consider about this beer is the footprint of the typically overzealous Ommegang house yeast. To me, it tastes equal parts rotten oak and dried flowers with metallic and coppery aromas. Saddle leather. Biscuity. Eartiness and spice I usually enjoy in BPA's seem hidden underneath rotten apples and wicker baskets. Mild hop-prescence akin to squeezed grapes.

The taste is markedly cider-esque and bitey. Astringent over-steeped pekoe tea. Dry as all hell, and like drinking a blanket: cotton. Rotting apple flavor continues until the addition of the yeast which somehow really opens up the sweet malt flavors, which are luscious when you can find them.

Again, overcarbonatingly bitey with orange rings and cracked pepper. Almost puckering dryness aids drinkability.

Not particularly drinkable, I found it hard to consume this 750mL bottle which is strange considering the amazing Hennepin and Ommegang. Interestingly, my wife liked it much more than either of those two options. (1,382 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange-ish color with a white head. Aromas of candied sugar and a Belgian yeast. In the taste, Belgiany sweet malt and a hint of corriander. A small bitter mouthfeeland a dry Belgian yeast aftertaste. Smooth and mellow, with a nice hop presence. (260 characters)

Photo of Traquairlover
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulips.

A = Clear copper tinged amber liquid with a yellow off white head consisting of small and medium sized bubbles, decent retention and light lacing.

S = Light scents of white pepper and lemongrass with light hints of sour yeast.

T = Fresh baked lightbrown wheat bread on tip of tongue with lemon at midpalate. Light winter spices show up and blend into a long sweet-sour finish.

M = Medium-light body, good mouthcoating, good level of carbonation with slight sting followed by creamier foam.

D = This is a pleasant, good drinking beer but just a little simpler than I expected. (613 characters)

Photo of granger10
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer reminds me of a wine. It's most dominanat flavors are fruity flavors that I would usually find in wines. But this does have more complexity than that. There's some citrus hops that fit well and I definitely taste the yeast in this. The yeast is also apparent in the finish causing for a very dry ending in this one. The body is light in my opinoin and needs to be a little more bold for this beer to go to the next level and join its compadres Ommegang and Hennepin. (476 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A luscious amber, somehat cloudy brew. A modest but healthy fuzzy head that fades pretty quickly with nice lacing. The smell is mildly malt and wheat, a bit like a hefe but a mellower quality. Then the first taste says more hefe to me. I didn't expect that. I don't get the hops so much, more like a mild brown bread but decidedly like a hefe with delicate wheat and lots of citrus going on. Strong tingling carbonation at the front but it maintains a subtle blended flavor and feel, medium drinkability but more to be savored for those who admire the style. Not my favorite style though. (588 characters)

Photo of sdsurfer217
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip glass

Appearance: Light amber colored, slightly hazy, finger and half of cream colored head. Lots of carbonation off the bottom

Aroma: Spicy aroma, little bit of banana and orange.

Taste: Bready characteristic, with banana flavors. Little bit of pepper on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation interrupts most of the flavors making the beer feel rather thin.

Overall: Decent beer, but the carbonation kind of ruins it. Aromas are good as well as the lingering flavors, but when it's on my tongue it just doesn't hold up. I would like to try this on tap or 750ml to see if it's as "gas-y" as in the 12oz (628 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a rocks glass at Mellow Mushroom. From notes. Reviewed 2 July 2011.

A: Impressive head fills about a third of the glass. Light translucent orange in the light. Fantastic lacing.

S: Buttery malts, vague yeasts, some hops. Sweet and niceish.

T: Fruity-sweet (apricot?). Drying aftertaste. Malty-sweet and vaguely tart.

M: A bit watery/flat. Smooth, I guess. Not *bad*.

O: Good beer, but not as great on tap. Still recommended. Drinkable. I *might* be convinced to try another on-tap. (496 characters)

Photo of JAXSON
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber pour with a moderate creamy head. Really yeasty flavor, banana, bread, kind of bitter. Faint tropical fruit sweetness. Kind of too burdensome and sweet to be a session beer, but a bit simple to be considered anything special. Not bad, fine. (251 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A medium-sized, dark, cream-colored head leaves swoopy lacing. The beer is a full, reddish-amber and clear. Dry, spicy, flowery nose. Dry and spicy again in the front. Pepper. There's some fruit in the middle, but it's not sweet. Foamy, creamy with temperature. The finish is bitter and dry, peppery, almost sour. Alcohol is evident. I remember really liking this, but this was a bit of a let-down. (398 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance –The beer is served an reddish amber color with a two finger white head. The head has a decent level of retention, with it eventually fading to leave a nice level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a mix of yeast, fruit and spice. A light funky yeast aroma is mix with smells of banana, apple and orange. These are all complemented by some spice aromas of a peppery and spicy.

Taste – The taste begins with a light sour apple flavor upfront. This is mixed with some other fruit flavors of pear and orange as well as some bready tastes. A yeasty taste brings with it a bit more of the sour funk flavor. Grassy and citrus hop flavors enter the taste profile at this time helping to subdue some of the tart flavors. At the end very light peppery taste mixed with some notes of a wheat bread taste come to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the lighter and thinner side with a carbonation level that is high. The thinner body and the higher carbonation are great for the taste flavors of the brew and allow it to still be very drinkable and favorable without being “tart” overwhelming.

Overall – Ah it was an alight brew and worth a try, but nothing to really go to on great occasion. (1,264 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from SpeedwayJim in Round 4 of the 666 BIF; thanks Jim! Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy orange amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head leaves no lacing and lasts for a few minutes.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian style yeast, fruity malts, and very light bananas. Pretty nice, with a lot of dark fruit.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, bananas, fruity malts, yeast, cloves, light citrus, light floral and earthy notes. Again, lots of dark fruits, and more bananas than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice amber ale with a Belgian style kick to it. Lots of dark fruits mixing with some bananas and bready malts. Very easy to drink, would give another shot. (864 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Really nice brown color with a very noticeable haze to it. The head on it is really full and creamy.

Smell: It just smells Belgian. I get the Belgian yeast, maybe some prunes/raisins, and what really reminds me of olive brine in the background. It should be off-putting, but it isn't.

Taste: Just like the smell. I'm not used to the style, so it's very different for me, but it's oddly enjoyable. The yeast gives it that sourness you'd expect, and there's also, like I said, a briney taste to it.

Mouthfeel: Really the best part of it all. The creaminess/smoothness is very nice.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer at all ... it IS however very interesting for a newbie like myself. Quality stuff. (709 characters)

Photo of BierReise
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking deep amber ale with a creamy dense head and light retention. Gives a fruity spicy aroma with an earthy quality that is quite pleasant. Great full bodied with a creamy yet effervescent mouthfeel. Flavor is malty, fruity with notes of caramel. Everything was excellent about this ale untill the last mouthfull which seemed weak and slightly watery. Also this ale would benefit with a higher abv. It's just missing something. (437 characters)

Photo of frankiepop
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Corked pop with a bit of smoke. Big bubbly tanish head arises as you poor with plenty of lacing.

Nice fresh beer scent. Quite a reddish copper hue.

The beer is highly carbonated, and that's got nice clean crisp taste. Your ass is kicked by the amount of flavor. This 'pale' ale is nearly like a quasi-porter or dark ale in intensity. It has an almost sour quality. I am more into a darker sweeter ale myself. But one thing this is damn refreshing. IPA lovers would orgasm on this stuff.

As for mouth feel its pretty good albeit the super high bubbly carbonation.

I will buy other Ommegang, Gnomegang for example, instead of this again. Quality is there though. A good sipper for a summer day though.

This beer goes down good with a jazzy little effort like Grover Washington's Winelight or Mr. Magic. (809 characters)

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

a beer like this is simply not an exceptional beer, at least not for me, that being said in the realm of amber ales this is about as good of an amber ale as you are likely to have, it retains the ease of consumption of the style while taking that proprietary house yeast in the belgian style and bringing something new to an amber ale, it removes what to me is an often unpleasant though not overwhelming hoppiness, this is at any rate an great beer for any occasion, though not an altogether special beer, use this instead of your boring amber ales for a party and enjoy (571 characters)

Photo of breadnerd
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 750ml into a large tulip glass, pours a light amber with great clarity and a pillow of head. Aromas are sweet, floral, yeasty. Notes of spice at first, mellowing to carmel and honey on the finish. Backround flavors are somewhat lost or at least difficult to distinguish through the carbonation. Very crisp, almost sharp. May be quite refreshing on a hot summer day. (379 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a glass resembling iced-tea...sort of orange-brown with some haze. Creamy off white head defines retention.
Smells of spice (clove), bread and earthy hops.
Taste gets better as the bottle empties. Spiciness up front. Some grassy flavors. Slight Toffee/caramel maltiness. Yeast is present and plenty doughy, though lasks the general spiciness I desire (it's still present just bland). Grape like sweetness with perks of cherry and citrus. Faint traces of butter and nuttiness perhaps. Finishes up with a sharp blast of raw, earthy hops. Nice, if a little jarring for the style. Seemingly thin, but builds body as it sits. Don't bother sharing the bottle. In fact, get two for yourself.

All this for $3.99 / 750ml? I almost feel guilty.

Update: Not what I once believed it was (i.e. score 4.5). I've had both fresh and aged bottles since my initial review and all have seemed muted. This is certainly Americanized (Which is neither a good or bad thing). Yeast complexity is minor , bordering on nonexistant. Hops are too forward and throw the balance off.
Still a good budget Belgian-styled brew. But certainly not the classic I once thought. (1,157 characters)

Photo of Liverpool08
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark amber. Nice foamy head that quickly dies down to a small thin line. Aroma of malt and cloves. Taste is of cloves and spice but very tame. I was expecting a lot more from Ommegang. It just didn't jump out at me with any significant taste or flavors. Also it seems a bit watery. Its certainly very drinkible, but not the best I've had. (351 characters)

Photo of hunteraw
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Stubbie in Gainesville from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Much lighter in color than I expected, this doesn't seem to be a "dark ale" at all. Perhaps a bit darker than your typical Belgian Pale Ale, but not by much. Now I don't know what to expect... Amber in color, good head. Some lacing.

Smell: Again, much lighter than I'd expect. I though I might be mistaken, so I had a friend smell as well. Very light in the aroma department, with some mild belgian yeast character and perhaps a hint of spice.

Taste: I'm starting to wonder if I got a bad or mislabeled bottle, somehow. Again, the flavor profile is much ligher than I'd expect from a Belgian Dark Ale. Reminds me much more of a Belgian Pale, not the dark fruit and candi sugar of a Dark...

Mouthfeel: Nice and crisp, good. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Odd, drinkability is good but the beer is not what I was expecting, at all. (911 characters)

Photo of watermelon
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had on draft at Galileos in Boone.

A: Golden-orange with a white head that stayed for the duration of the beer. There was a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Orange is the dominant aroma with a fair amount of pepper and coriander, possibly a few other spices as well as other less prominent citrus notes.

T: Again orange taste along with the spices mentioned above. There was a slight medicinal taste also, although not unpleasant.The alcohol is hidden very well.

F: This beer was very easy to drink. It had the perfect amount of carbonation which complimented both the citrus and the spice notes in the taste and smell. There was a nice zing on the tongue after drinking

O: I really enjoyed this beer It was only a dollar to upgrade from a budlight and worth every penny($4 a pint $14 a pitcher on non special days). This is a perfect end of summer beginning of fall brew, fruity enough to be enjoyed on a hot day but enough spice to remind one that the leaves are changing and the weather is becoming cooler. I wouldn't hesitate to order this again and highly recommend it to others. Plus at 6.5 abv theres enough to give a solid buzz but not so much that it would be unsafe to drive after ordering another. (1,220 characters)

Photo of DanfromVan
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle
Drank from the glass shoe of a princess.
Nice lace,
Very little scent
The absolute best colour of any beer I think I have seen. It's like waking up in a beer ad.
Tight concentrated carbonation that improves about 15 min in to carpet your mouth with champagne-like ribbons of foam. Carbonation stays strong through the life of the bottle
Flavour is definitely muted, with hints of fruit and very subdued spice. Very slight sour/bitter finish on every drink
Flavour bumps up a few notches if you hand warm it and bring it close to the room temperature of a stone castle in May.
Not a style I seek out, but nice for what it was, US dollar makes this a pricy drink at apprx 12 Can so I will likely try something else next time.
If this was Flanders in 1918 and I just had my arm shot off I would have been good friends with this style. The ABV really makes it 2 bottles to oblivion. (899 characters)

Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Head pours at 3-fingers creamy, frothy, and eggshell white. Color is orange-amber with haze from suspended yeast. Progression found a 1/2 finger raft of head and creamy lacing down the glass.

S: Dominated by orange-citrus and ginger with a slight hint of clove-like spice.

F: The initial flavor presented a pronounced orange-apple sweetness with a slightly dry and lingering bitter finish. Spiciness, although advertised, is ever so light hinting at holiday-type flavors. Maltiness is a bit lacking for a Belgian or an amber ale.

M: Carbonation is on point, but the overall mouthfeel is thin and watery...again, additional malt character may have helped with this.

D: The light nature and sweet flavors make this a very session-able beer.

I felt this beer to have a bit of an identity crisis not discerning itself as a dark Belgian ale or an amber ale. The citrus flavors would have been better supported by a stronger backbone of malt character. Not a bad brew, but lacking in some key areas. (1,001 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange color with a small head. Definitely a fruity yeast aroma with some cinnamon and spice mixed in. A touch of sweetness can be detected upon tasting but the real killer for me here was the carbonation. Way too carbonated to make this something you can drink all night long. It tickled the inside of my mouth and hurt the drinkability. Not a bad beer overall, but something that could benefit from being less caronated and more well-rounded and balanced. (457 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into an Unibroue tulip.

A: Hazy reddish-amber body under an inch of pillowy tan foam. Ok retention but no lace. Good-looking enough, but far from spectacular.

S: Dry, biscuity malt dominates, with some fruity yeast esters on the back end. Lightly floral. Pretty nice, but a little bit boring.

T: Biscuits, light caramel, apple, and some floral yeast. Dry, chalky finish. Not bad at all, but uninspiring.

M: Highly carbonated medium body. Nice + lively without being too prickly.

O: This is a beer that I used to love, and boy was it disappointing this time around. I don't know if this was an old keg or a less-good batch, or maybe my tastes have just changed. Whatever the case, it was a thoroughly pedestrian Belgian-style beer that failed to deliver anything of real interest flavor-wise. I'll definitely try it again and (hopefully) re-review when I'm again blown away.

Cheers! (906 characters)

Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Most beautiful beer I've seen to date, but the taste just isn't there for me. I'd drink again, but I wouldn't buy again. Taste like the older brother of dogfish head namaste (173 characters)

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,110 ratings.