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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,124 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,124
Hads: 3,161
Avg: 4.04
pDev: 18.32%
Wants: 176
Gots: 531 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,124 | Hads: 3,161
Photo of alysmith4
1.54/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I did not enjoy this beer at all.. couldn't even finish one glass. I was so excited to find it at the local gourmet foods store while vacationing, and I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel to try it. I love Belgian stong pale ales, and thought I would enjoy this (non-stong) pale, but I couldn't even stomach it.

I poured a hazy brown, with no head. Immediately I could smell corriander and bananna. The mouthfeel was flat, no carbonation whatsoever. The taste was sour. I think I must have gotten a bad batch of this stuff, as my experience of it is not consistent with other reviews. Either that, or I'm just not a fan of this style.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
1.69/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours a tawny amber hue with wispy white head that deposits a surprising volume of chiffon lace sheeting.

S - This smells suspicious at best, horrendous at worst; the nose seems to offer an impression of cheap jasmine fragrance atomized in an attempt to thwart rancid foot and body odor. No thanks.

T - Atop of the foul descriptors that construct the quantification of this brew's nose, just add hints of Raid bug spray and there you'll have it.

M - The feel is bad, but only because the experience of drinking this beer just feels so bad. Insert sad frog and snarky text line, that will suffice to define this brew.

D - I think this is so bad that it takes on comic (or tragic) proportions. Is this for real?

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Photo of TheBigBoy
2.1/5  rDev -48%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Out of bottle. Not my type of beer at all. Did not match the typical Belgian flavor beer of which I am not a big fan of anyway. For me this had a charcoal, ashtray type taste that is just not a match for my palatte. Seems some folks enjoy this, so give it a try if you'd like. I have turned the page on this one.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.11/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours out to a slightly hazy light amber with orange accents, forming a large light beige head after a vigorous pour. Head is sea-foam in consistency and has OK retention with sparse lacing. Aroma is of dry cloves, a faint whiff of bananas, apricots, a crisp toasted wheat note, Wyeast Belgian Wit yeast aromatics, and diabetic urine (seriously). Mouthfeel is spritzy, with a watery thin body. Taste begins with florid carbonation, immediately fading into a thin bitterness with nary a hint of hop flavor or aroma...more of a tannic bitterness, like oversteeped black tea. There is a toasty note in the middle, a mentionable complete lack of malt body or sugar, followed by more chemical bitterness in the watery, thin finish. The finish reminds me of chewing a Tylenol. In the aftertaste, I tend to pick up roasted barley astringency and some isopropyl alcohol. As it warms, the alcohol becomes obtrusive and drys out the mouth. Highly overrated, and nothing I would care to drink again.

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Photo of TXHops
2.29/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Coriander. Slippery, Bain de Soleil-in glass-like coriander. This beer smells, tastes and feels exactly like coriander-infused sun tan lotion in a bottle. Disclaimer for any who might not know—I don’t like spiced beer and I especially don’t like coriander in my beer. It tastes too much like vegetables for me. In this case, Ommegang has taken that flavor profile to a whole new level. I think I can maintain some degree of objectivity, but we’ll see…

The beer pours an orangey-gold color with a pretty good sized head by American standards and a sub-par offering on the Belgian scale. The frothy, meringue-like character was non-existent, though a layer of white film lasted forever.

The aroma was coriander. Nothing but straight, in-my-face coriander. I smelled 5 or 6 times for something else, but I could only smell coriander. That being said, coriander in beer, to me smells like the aroma conjured up when I see the image of the nicely-bronzed little girl having her bum exposed by the overly-frisky family dog. Either sun tan lotion or celery. Is there a celery-scented Hawaiian Tropic product?

The flavor is the same, but with some depth. First, the greasy, celery-ish coriander smacked me on the tongue. Then I was granted a temporary reprieve by the green apple maltiness, flowed by some more Braeburn-like sweetness, before Banana Boat and cilantro fruit regained their strangle-hold on the flavors.

I hated, HATED this beer. But, I could appreciate how so many might like it. I was also impressed by the fact that the flavor didn’t follow in lock step with the aroma, offering up some nice appley tartness that was non-existent in the aroma. I will take off points for the possible addition of Coppertone and cabbage to the kettle, but I’ll be fair enough to recognize this beer strengths too…

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Photo of e11iott
2.36/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: 12 oz bottle. 2 fat finger head, lasted several minutes, light lacing, rustic orange color when poured.

S: heavy strong fruit aroma, noticabl malt and yeast smell.

T/M: served cold had medium body. tasted fruity, but not in a women mindset. strong carbonation.

D: Not a big fan of this one, alcohol was well hidden, taste didn't improve with warmth.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.52/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A: [3.5] A slightly hazy orange color. Sports pretty big dense white head. No apparent dating on the bottle Beer is listed at 6.5% ABV.

S: [2.00] Wreaks of Beligian yeast. It is like being punched in the face with it. Very pungent. I get nothing else.

T: [2.50] Fortunately it doesn't exactly follow the nose. There is not such an overpowering whollop of Belgian yeast. It is still all I get in this beer - but it is less than the nose.

M: [3.25] The carbonation is decent the body is a bit thin.

O: [2.50] I really dislike Belgian yeast. It doesn't agree with me and this is a one note beer with just that single note. Unfortunately that means I didn't finish it.

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Photo of dmtaylor
2.58/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Am I the only guy who doesn't like this stuff?

The aroma was enticing -- spicy hops, a little grassy, earthiness from Belgian yeast. Cloudy amber in color with big head. But then in the flavor... my first impression was, tastes sort of like Spaghetti-os (tomato)! It has a strange vegetal flavor that is hard to place, and I find undesirable. Other than that, it is certainly earthy and spicy in flavor as one might expect, and packs a little alcohol punch.

Overall, as far as Belgian styles, there are infinite others that are miles above this example, so I cannot recommend it.

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Photo of silentjay
2.58/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

im confused. The beer pours with a huge head that is big-bubbled, fluffy and almost white, which is all well and good, but the color is a clear bright copper. The bottle says amber, and its classified here as a belgian dark ale. I have had many pale ales darker than this. It would score higher as a Belgian golden ale, maybe.

aroma is of vegetables, grass, Belgian yeast (banana, coriander, yawn) and some white bread. not impressive at all.

taste is better than the aroma, but it still isnt tremendous. a bit floral and fruity (unripened banana) with some plain white bread and undercooked vegetables and a bit of a metallic sharpness.

rather light bodied with pretty low carbonation and watery on the swallow.

not quite overly offensive, but almost. vegetables, metal, and white bread are not the quite what I look for in a belgian dark ale or any beer, really. I have been unimpressed with Ommegang and Rare Vos is no different. I remember not enjoying it a while ago, but I was hoping that my palate just wasnt ready for it yet. Maybe after a couple more years I'll appreciate this brew. maybe.

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Photo of orangemoustache
2.59/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This nice looking bottle pours a dirty rusty brown. It has a thick creamy tan cap that has amazing hang time,well the center has nice hang time,the edges colapse first, leaving a pillar of head jetting out of the center of my snifter. A few large chunks of yeast are swirling around,even on a slow and gentle pour. The nose is beyond understated and smells faintly of dried rasins, bread crust and light spice mixture. Right upfront I get a tangy tartness that is not appealing to me in the least. Light maltiness never comes full circle and seems weak and underpowered. A subtle yeasty fruitness is underlying and is really the best part of this disapointing offering. Ommegang has impressed me over and over,this one just didn't do it. I will try this again, just to see if this was a fluke. A thin mouthfeel and bitter dry finish did this no favors either.

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Photo of heavy216
2.6/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: 12 oz bottle. 2 fat finger head, lasted several minutes, light lacing, brownish gold in color

S: malt and yeast smell, with a small amount fruitiness

T/M: strong carbonation. tasted slightly fruity

D: didn't care for this one as much as some others

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Photo of KarlosT
2.66/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I love amber ales. Perhaps its ignorance on my part, as to what constitututes a Belgium ale ... but I just do not like it when someone adds spice to a beer.

Not sure if it was clove, or allspice, or nutmeg. Could not finish this beer.

If you like the spiced beer offerings from Sam Adams (which I do not) perhaps you will like this beer.

Just wished I had read the label in more detail. Selected it based upon the high BA scores at the liquor store.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.69/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: opaque brown with 1 cm tan head.
Aroma: Slightly vinous aroma. Huge malty dark bread dough aroma. Aroma makes me remember the needing dough.
Taste: Funky dry varnishy mouthfeel, that jumps in the way before I can figure out the taste. dry toffee. Huge harsh citric acid. Nutty, biscuity. No back bone or finish. If I were to write anything more, I would repeate the words "acidic" and "biscuity" over and over and over again.
Drinkability: Why bother to finish the glass, I no not why.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
2.69/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

*On tap at The Mews, infamous for dirty tap lines.*

A: Maroon-brown with purple-like hues. Very interesting looking, paired with a peach-white head, nice lacing.

S: Incredibly amount of mustiness matched with sweet malts. Dark fruit crammed in fresh sweaty socks drying in the sunlight. Yikes.

T: Belgian yeast, funky tasting malts, sweat. An incredibly musty malt taste with fruit. Not absurdly gross, but just not pleasant.

M: It's smooth and creamy, but the taste is is overwhelmingly odd and takes away from this feature.

O/D: Looks great, feels good, smells and tastes like something's wrong. Had at The Mews, so dirty lines could have played a major role. Might have to take a shot with this beer in a bottle, can't get much worse.

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Photo of santoslhalper
2.74/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Of the 4 new brews I had tonight, this was probably the most dissapointing. This beers flavor was just about the most average tasting "belgian" style beer I've had in a long time. The flavors that were there were weak and not interesting. This left a bad aftertaste as well. Maybe I just had a bad bottle, but this was pretty damn rough.

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Photo of Rastacouere
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours out of a 750ml bottle, clear orange with a nicely lasting film. Very belgian aroma with a wall of doughy and bready yeast. Fruity and flowery malt (peaches, apricot, honey). It begs for a sip... which I later regret. Watery and bland palate with empty almost uniquely yeasty flavors, bready. Mouthfeel is creamy and way too airy and carbonated which almost distracts the flavors out of your mouth before it hits your tongue.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.81/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ommegang- Rare Vos

Appearance- ruby red/ brown with a big thick head. Took several minutes until I could pour the rest of the beer into the glass.
Smell- Light fruit (grape and cherry) and a sugary candy malt.
Taste- very weak! Where the hell is the flavor?! The lightest of fruit punch mixed with malt and slight toasted hops.
Mouthfeel- watery and weak.

Overall- This was so weak I could not believe. My wife drank a bottle and couldn't believe the lack of flavor, more like the watered down flavor. Thumbs down until Ommegang bumps the flavor in this 1!

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Photo of HardTarget
2.84/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Aroma: Spicy, with a slight off smell I can’t place (sorry, musty?).
Appearance: Red/amber color with a monster head. Also noted the very active carbonation seemed to keep some very small (spices?) particles suspended in the brew. Also have to note, the entire pack I got were all gushers, quite a surprise from such a prestigious brewery. A solid coat of lace, which looked more like spray paint, dominated the glass.
Flavor: Spices are right up front, nutmeg, pepper, allspice? I’m taking wild guesses here. Spice fades into a malt sweet that takes about 5 seconds to transition to a hint of hops at the end. Balance is good and allows the spice and yeast to come through, but I have to say, this wasn’t the transcendental experience I had hoped for.
Mouthfeel: Medium, with a slight astringent pucker at the end that wasn’t unpleasant.
Overall Impression: Sigh. I really hope I got a bad batch somehow, which still counts against the brewer. Starting with a gush didn’t help my impressions, and the end result is that, while I’ll drink this, I’m already looking forward to my next beer. The flavor profile is well balanced and the spices are nice, but not great. Obviously some quality in the brew given the massive lacing, but overall, I feel like I didn’t get my money out of this.

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Photo of AdamBear
2.85/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-dark golden orange with a decent white head. seems that this should possibly be darker but it does look nice.

S-smells like honey and spicy blegian yeasts almost like a belgian witbier. its a pretty good strength

T-comes in with sweet belgian yeasts but mostly its just very malty. goes out with the belgian malts as well. the after-taste is of fruity belgian malts but mostly has this odd plastic-like taste to it that i find upsetting.

M-medium carbonation that is good, however there is a finish that makes you question if the beer is poisoned

D-its really not a fun beer to drink, i was excited for it to be done with soon after opening it. the plastic-like taste towards the finish seems to grow throughout the glass. this is definitely not something i'll ever be getting again.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.86/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jul 12, 2009

12oz bottle. Pours light amber/orange with a big off-white head that retains well. Lots of lacing. Good-lookin' beer.

Aroma is fruity and yeasty.

Flavor is the same, but more subdued unfortunately.

Finish is very dry, almost watery and a bit soapy.

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Photo of champ103
2.93/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber/reddish color. At first a large white head rises to over two fingers. The foam recedes to a ring quickly. Light lace is left.
S: Over ripe, almost spoiled fruits. Some yeast and light funk. An interesting spicy aroma lingers.
T: Again an over ripe fruit flavor. Spice, yeast, and some funk. Lightly tart. Dirty, maybe some diacetyl. Dry and moldy wood. Interesting, but the flavors don't mesh right for me.
M/D: A medium body and crisp carbonation. Very dry. Not hard to sip on, but a one and done for me.

This is interesting, but not for me. Something that is worth a try, but I am not really that into this.

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Photo of jonziefle
2.99/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a cloudy orange-brown amber color. One finger bubbly that reduces to a thin layer pretty quickly. Plenty of visible carbonation. Some lacing, but a little head remains the whole time.

Smell: Not much of a nose at all. Some roasted and caramel malts, and some apple flavors.

Taste: Mild caramel and nutty malt flavors, but without much in the way of hops. Mild yeast esters. It does have some of that typical Belgian spiciness, but it is also very mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a very strong carbonation bite, without being overly filling.

Drinkability: A Belgian dark ale by style, but a Belgian amber ale by name. Definitely on the darker side of amber ales, without much hop flavors/bite to balance it out. Could use some more flavor.

Buy Again? No.

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Photo of Foyle
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Copper-Amber and very cloudy. Pours a 2” off white head that recedes slowly and leaves significant lacing.
Aroma: coriander and other spices, caramel malts, some Belgian yeast funk
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a slightly sticky mouthfeel and a wet finish.
Flavor: The coriander and other spice flavors (clove perhaps?) lead the taste. They are followed by a bready caramel malt, citrus rind, and a slight hop presence in the finish.
Overall: A very good beer, but not outstanding,

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Photo of skineg
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearence: Cloudy amber color that looks very inviting. Good looking beer that has a sexy, but not too sexy look. Solid head (1/2 inch) but that fades fast.

Smell: Can smell the alcohol and smells surprisingly like an IPA. Can definalty pick up a perfume and floral fragrance from the hops.

Taste: Reminds me of a weak IPA. I realize that this is a Belgium Amber, but, while balanced, the taste has took much of a pure hop and alcohol taste for me.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth, fizzy.

Drinkability: It's the stlye for sure, but it's not that drinkable to me.

Comment: This is my first Belgium Style Amber and maybe it just took me by surprise, but I wasn't impressed. Maybe it's just a style that I need to get more accustomed too.

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Photo of StevieW
3.03/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big 750 ml brown bottle with cork and cage. A loud "pop" indicates a full amount of carbonation. Medium copper in color, shiny. Poured into a wide mouth belgian goblet as the bottle instructs. Off-white to beige head. Subtle smells of mulled spices. Cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg too. Taste was a bit oddly sweet, syrupy and full of spices. Hints of black pepper and sweet carmel malt, but nutmeg and cinnamon seem to dominate the flavors, but they don't balance and malt or traditional yeasty belgian flavors. Chewy full belgian feel fades as is the glass sits, and it turns into a muddled, spice filled, watery concoction. All beer and belgian flavors seem to fade into a wierd mess. There are present to start, but they fade fast. Seemingly artificial alcohol heat to finish. Watery, thin, and slippery feel linger. An all out search for positive flavors left on the tongue, comes up empty. Not one to savor, and honestly hard to finish the entire bottle. Maybe my taste buds aren't refined enough. This one was a dissapointment to me. My apologies to those that are a big fan of this one. I liked the other two from this brewery. I don't think it was past it's prime, I just didn't enjoy it like I hoped I would.

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,124 ratings.