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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,352 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2352
Reviews: 1057
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,352 | Reviews: 1,057 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mzwolinski


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An Amber ale, very well carbonated with a thick and creamy head. The aroma is slightly sour, orange-like and fruity. As it warms it develops a malty richness. Very nice. Taste starts with a big malty sweetness, followed by some darker fruits (fig perhaps) and spices. Somewhat dry, sour finish, with a mildly sweet aftertaste. Quite drinkable, even if not quite up to the standards of the brewery's namesake beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2002 20:52:37 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of tigerpaws

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another winner from Brewery Ommegang! Pours a nice cloudy amber with a frothy tan head. The aroma is a mixture of fruits, spices and malt. The taste IMO was somewhere between an Ommegang and Hennipin, less fruity the the O and not as hoppy as the H. It was more of a malt taste with hints of subtle hops and fruit/spice flavor. This beer is a very drinkable brew which can be enjoyed with food, but I prefer to sit back and just enjoy it by itself as I relax................CHEERS

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2002 06:10:36 | More by tigerpaws
Photo of BeerAngel


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a massive 3 finger off white head with staying power. The smell is that of a slight yeast with fruity esters and a touch of spice. The taste is a very well balance with spices, slight fruit, and light hops with yeast in the background. It does not have a sticky mouthfeel like a lot of Belgian-style brews I've had. This is one fine tasting Belgian-style brew! Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2002 16:52:30 | More by BeerAngel
Photo of ADR


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy brown/nutmeg color, head dies down to a side-clinging trace after a while...slight yeast aromas, quite a bit of spiced apples going on in the smell. Coating mouthfeel, sense of fruitiness ranging toward apple and peaches with a simulation of an estery feel. Attenuates mid mouth with an astringent (straying to sour) close and a somewhat dryish finish. Impressed with Ommegang again, to my tastes, a good beer that's not quite as good as their flagship brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2002 09:13:06 | More by ADR
Photo of Jordan


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fruity nose of apple, currant, passion fruit, a little musk. Champagne-like carbonation activity. Mildly sweet, slightly sour, turning peppery in the finish. Well balanced, but I'm inclined to say the hopiness is most assertive, undoubtedly in the finish. Enjoyed best around 60 degrees F.

A good beer by my standards, however less refined than what I would expect from the grand masters at Ommegang.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2002 21:44:36 | More by Jordan
Photo of Murph


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy peach/orange color with a slightly fizzy head that leaves an excellent lace all the way down the glass. Slightly tart smell with some apples, peaches, and other lighter fruits. Great starting fruitiness that has a nice refreshing tartness to it with some definite apple, raisin, orange zest, and some sweet candy flavors as well. The sweet fruitiness is offset nicely by just enough earthy noble hop flavors. The brew is slightly effervescant across the tongue and also rather smooth as well. This is one very drinkable brew regardless of the time of year. They just don't seem to know how to make anything that isn't excellent at this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2002 11:51:52 | More by Murph
Photo of Bighuge


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a blazing orange and has thick, meringue-like topping that is well retained. Some fruity and yeasty tones are evident on the nose. Almost a bit of a musty smell as well. Light to medium body. Carbonation seems just right. Very mellow and drinkable beer. Some light notes of wood and smoke. Also get fruits (Grapes?) and bready yeastiness. Some hebal qualities seem to surface as well. No hint of alcohol on my buds. Nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2002 20:07:35 | More by Bighuge
Photo of zerk


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite "value for my beer dollar" brews. A complex, and very drinkable Belgian-style ale for $4.50 per 750ml? I almost feel like I'm stealing from the liquor store.

Cloudy orange/amber with a persistant foam. The lace on this beer has staying power, and leaves a trail all down the glass. Floral and spicy in aroma, with clove and maybe pepper notes. The flavor is malty sweet and spicy, with a pleasant hop bitterness at the end. Medium to full body, with wonderfully balanced flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2002 09:09:34 | More by zerk
Photo of mickeymac


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's a very nice golden-orange with a fluffy white head that leaves lace all the way down the glass. The smell is subtly spicy. The taste is also a bit spicy, but quite mellow and understated. It goes down like silk and is very drinkable. I enjoyed this the most of Ommegang's offerings.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2002 19:50:25 | More by mickeymac
Photo of marc77


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Impressive off - white fluffy, thick and very persistent head. Slight hazy copper - orange hue, w/ copious, effervescent bubbling. Quite attractive in appearance. The aroma is comprised of notes of peach & candied fruit followed by understated acetaldehyde w/ just a hint of phenol. Caramelized sweetness hits upfront, but is immediately mellowed by honey flavors & sour apple as well as black licorice. The high carbonation coupled with the relatively full and dextrinous body for style lend a spritzy (but not prickly) and enjoyable mouthfeel. All around yeast esters are more mellow than the typical Belgian, but contribute more than sufficient complexity to this very drinkable brew. The clean finish reveals hop bitterness on the back of the tongue as well as a light biscuit flavor and mustiness. Alcohol warmth slowly emerges long after the sip is over. The 750 mL bottle is perfect... it's drinkability makes 12 oz a tease.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2002 17:55:19 | More by marc77
Photo of Wildman


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice dark golden color and formed a good medium tan head. Some lace on the side. Nice frangrances of spice and malt. Is a fairly carbonated beer and bears alot of the characteristics you find in a Belgian style. Has a slight foamy heavy feal in the taste. Gives it a heavier feel to the body then you would expect.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2002 16:18:05 | More by Wildman
Photo of Jason


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big frothy off white head subside to a clinging cream coloured lace. Mild haze from the yeast, looks nearly clear with a pale copper hue. Fruity, estery and spicy aroma with hints of ripe plum and an earthy blend of anise, clove, nutmeg and citric zest. Dry malt palate that taste like a toasted multigrain cracker, big crisp mouth feel and a moderate body. Bitterness from the hops is noticeable. Estery with a slight peppery phenolic character that goes towards coarse and medicinal in the finish. The finish is dry and grain with residual phenols. Paired very well with whole grain crackers and aged hunters cheddar.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2002 19:24:43 | More by Jason
Photo of mjohn27603


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in appearance, nice carbonation. Has very fruity taste and a dry finish. Tried some with cheddar cheese and enjoyed it very much. Very comparable to Belgian made ales. I did have one bottle, perhaps served a bit warm, which did taste a little solventlike. However this seems to have been an exception.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2002 20:22:39 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from the small 12oz bottle. Ommegang doesn't seem to make any poor biers, do they. This is nice, although Ommegang (original) is still their best. Beauteous cloudy copper color, big creamy head bubbling out of the bottle, and many lacy rings left down the glass produce a fine appearance. Nose is an arromatic lemony/orangy combo. Good body and creaminess make for a pleasant mouthfeel. Flavor abounds with citrus flavors, ending with a hint of peppery-like spice. Good stuff!

overall: 4.15
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4


Serving type: bottle

05-18-2002 17:12:46 | More by Bierman9
Photo of cokes


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2002 00:10:51 | More by cokes
Photo of inebrius


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber American-Belgian beauty! Well carbonated and spicy, this beer says it all. High in the tart and fruity ester, but strong enough to keep it real. Mellow hoppiness. Top notch!

Cheers to frank4sail for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2002 23:14:45 | More by inebrius
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML Bottle
Bright Orange/Copper color, with a lasting head... and I mean lasting. Sweet spicey smell. Taste of esters, fruity, with a bite of spice. Great lace left in glass (Chimay goblet). The taste improves on your last glass.. swirl and pour the yeast it is good for you and improves the flavor. This is the most drinkable of Ommegang's products.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2002 21:11:27 | More by frank4sail
Photo of mmthompson33


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Other reviewers said it well. An exceptional beer that brings Belgium home.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2001 23:55:32 | More by mmthompson33
Photo of John

New York

4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The folks at Ommegang certainly did their homework. Rare Vos is a fine example. You can't go wrong with any of Ommegang's beers. I had the pleasure of visiting the brewery this past summer. Following the tour and tasting, I bought a sampler case!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2001 16:41:23 | More by John
Photo of Todd


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ML Magnum Euro-style bottle with champagne cork and wire crown. Label notes: Beer is "Gauaranteed to be cellared at the brewery." Rare Vos is Flemish for "Sly Fox," which is a café in Brussels.

Appearance: Hazy amber with a very active carbonation. Head is near perfect, off-white, creamy, clingy and stays. Very appealing to look at. Loads of settled yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Malt and grainy notes, a bit alcohol fruity, grape-like, with a dominant soft, sweet clove aroma.

Taste: Full bodied, malty sweet and with a spicy, yeast mouth. A bit peppery with a pleasant grassy dryness. Hop flavours are subtle, tea-like, and mingle with the grass flavours. Some dextrin sweetness as the beer warms. Finishes a bit dry with yeast flavours and semi-oily coating on the tongue.

Notes: A top fermented, bottle conditioned, Brabant Ale. Absolutey amazingly delicious! You almost forget you are not in Belgium, and for $4.50 a bottle it's a cheap imaginary trip to Belgium, for the taste buds and soul.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2000 00:00:01 | More by Todd
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a standard pint glass.

A- Maybe it was the lighting; an amber ale with true amber color, full creamy white head and lots of sticky foam lacing. A touch of haze in the body from the yeast, perhaps.

S- Orange and spice, some light malt and yeast.

T- Slightly sweet malt combined with yeast dryness and fruits, spices.

M- Easy drinking with some hope bitterness and yeast and spice pungency. Dry finish.

O- Friendly drinker with lots of flavor, 6.5% abv is manageable; right level of hop bitterness, too.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2014 12:09:15 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of WheelsPSU

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Dinosaur BBQ (with a bbq brisket melt).

A - Copper in color with a rather small head. Lacing was average.

S - malt, caramel, bread, bananas and a touch of clove.

T - The Belgian yeast strain is quite good in this. More bananas and clove from the nose with a healthy dose of spiciness and bread.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, but a touch chewy. Also the initial blast of carbonation was soda like but it quickly calmed down.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2014 03:55:16 | More by WheelsPSU
Photo of Beer-A-Lot


3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a great look and feel but is lacking in taste in my mind. Needs more citrus or more maltiness to keep it from tasting flat. I love Ommegang and I think they do Belgians right, but this is a bit lacking for me. Wish I liked it more. I'll try it in bottle to see if its the keg but maybe I'm just not a fan.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2013 01:52:26 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of Edward19

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have had this beer multiple times and that should speak to how good this beer is but I will review my first encounter with it.

Beer was purchashed on tap at the Eagle Tavern in Liverpool, NY (they no longer have it on tap). Outstanding beer. I would recommend this to all of the beer lovers.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2013 16:38:39 | More by Edward19
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2013 22:09:29 | More by watermelon
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,352 ratings.