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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 tobelerone


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap this beer pours a fairly clear dark amber color, with a smallish head, decent retention and good lacing. Aroma is fruity and yeasty, typical Belgian-style complexity; faintly sweet, spicy, lots of apple cider notes.

Delicious flavor is led by that distinct apple cider flavor, light sourness, moderate sweetness, restrained hops. Nice yeasty spiciness. Finishes dry.

Medium body and lively carbonation; feels alive and very smooth in the mouth. Short aftertaste with just a hint of booze along with diminishing sweet and tart apple flavor.

This beer is really nice on tap; it’s been a long while since I’ve had the bottle but I’ll buy one soon and see if I like as much as I enjoyed the draft version.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2011 18:53:49 | More by tobelerone
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into pint glass at Bombers in Schenectady, NY. Nice...they give you quite a pour for such a pricey brew...thank you!
Pours a brown ish amber cloudy haze. Little head, but really nice aroma of slight malts and belgian yeasts.
Great flavour...mild, but just enough Belgian flavor to not be overwhelmed. A very approachable BPA, especially for a casual beer drinker looking to expand on the usual; but also appeals to the finer side of beer...good brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2011 19:44:02 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of woosterbill


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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.


Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2011 00:46:45 | More by woosterbill
Photo of AgentMunky


3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2011 19:41:08 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of socon67

New York

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brewery Ommegang

A - Pours caramel colored with a white foam and lively carboantion. Laces the glass quite nicely.

S - Smells yeasty and with a malt scent that hits the nose quickly.

T - A well blended belgian ale that has the noticeable Ommegang yeast expressed in the flavor. I get a fresh biscuit taste. The beauty in this is just how smooth Rare Vos is. It was a treat to see the lush green hills of central NY while enjoying this beer.

M - A well crafted belgian pale that is gentle on the taste buds, feels lighter than its ABV%, and brushes the palate with flavor.

O - A great find that is one of the lesser hyped Ommegang beers. Is right there with the belgian imports in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2011 14:01:12 | More by socon67
Photo of PhillyStyle


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

On-tap at The Trappe Door, Greenville, SC. May 2011:

Served in a tulip glass and the beer appeared a clear, golden amber with a big white head that was very well retained throughout the beer. Noticeable carbonation streaming to the top of the glass. The beer had a very nice aroma, sweet, spicy, floral and banana, just like a good Belgian should be. The taste is very good, complex and follows the nose nicely. Medium feel to the beer with high carbonation. The beer had a nice dry sweet and crisp finish. Overall, an excellent, highly drinkable beer and one that I will seek out to try again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 03:03:26 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of CaptainIPA


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

Served on-tap @ Cafe Hollander Tosa and presented in appropriate glassware. Enjoyed over lunch while watching the French Open semi-finals in HD. (Hard to see the ball otherwise.)

Pours a dark butterscotch color with garnet amber highlights and a thick, rocky head with impressive retention and moderate lacing.

Aromatics include banana, clove, sweet malts and floral spice.

Crisp and creamy with a medium-bodied mouthfeel. Opens sweet and malty with suggestions of banana, cloves and gingerbread spice. Peppery yeast surfaces, followed by a touch of metal. Finishes dry with a puckering note of sour cherries.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2011 21:22:04 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of Rifugium


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Johnny Brenda's, Philly, PA

A champion among amber ales. Pours a clear amber with a nice white head that retains well. Nicely toasted malts in the nose, along with a medley of fruit and a bit of spice. Malty taste, with flavors of pear, banana, apricot, and light spice. Very smooth, and quite complex for an amber ale, but not over-complicated. Medium mouthfeel, finishes dry, and is very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 19:10:10 | More by Rifugium
Photo of codfeast


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

A: Hard to tell it is kind dark in here, but certainly darker than pale, nice foamy head.

S: Fig, apricot, all spice, yeast.

T: Sweet malt and dried fruit, turns a bit sour then has a dry finish.

M: smooth and creamy.

O: I certainly prefer this beer on tap. Gave some to a co-worker "Wow, we serve this here. It's like a beer smoothie." Have had half dozen bottles over the years, must say the tap adds something extra.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2011 17:44:23 | More by codfeast
Photo of mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

2.68/5  rDev -34%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2011 16:41:32 | More by mostpoetsdo
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

The pour was nice. Light amber in color and very cloudy. Nice little touch of white on the top as well that reached a heightof around an inch before settling back down. Light grain aroma with hints of spice and light fruits was welcoming, albeit a touch light for me. Smooth, mellow, and a bit bland on the taste. Lots fo pepper like taste tried to cover up a lack of depth and an otherwise slightly bland overall vibe. Still decent feel and a very smooth, easy drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2011 02:50:50 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Gambrinus1184


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 33 cL Rare Vos glass at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: Hazy, medium amber color with a two-finger head of creamy off-white foam that leaves a great deal of sticky lace on the glass. Chilled haze limits visibility of fine carbonation.

S: Toasty, wheat crackers, a bit of buttery, dark bread and loads of fruity esters. Throws scents of plum, raisin, banana, clove and citrus. Has a waft of that gummy, peppery Belgian yeast and sugar too.

T: Excellent, sweet fruity malt profile up front with lots of apple, citrus and plum flavors to go with a toffee-like malt bittersweetness. Light, herbal, grassy hops come through mid-palate but only lift the sweetness off the palate and washes down fruity, herbal and slightly spicy with a hint of phenol alcohol.

M: Medium-bodied, sturdy, slightly creamy at first but really quite light and quaffable to finish.

O: One of the lightest categorical Belgian dark ales I've ever had. The light malts and fruitiness pair really nicely with cheddar and blackened chicken. It's bright and refreshing enough on it's own as well, carrying satisfying bittersweet malts and fruity esters.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2011 04:25:52 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of LordAdmNelson


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer though I guess that ambers and browns aren't really my favorite beers. The nose on this one was a bit weak, and somewhat boozy, though there was some nice malty tones to it. Flavor follows with a nice roasty, toasty, bready, and cracker-y malt profile. I'm not really getting the fruits that others are talking about, but there is a fair amount of yeast notes to it too. Overall, not a bad beer by Ommegang. Pretty drinkable with some pleasant flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2011 03:56:25 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of ktrillionaire


1.63/5  rDev -59.9%
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?

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 05:40:28 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of smibroncos

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured a clear apricot copper color with a. Short white fizzy diminishing head. Good lacing on the glass.

S. Orange, hay, straw, rubber

T. Citrus, fruity. Sweet up front some spiciness, coriander, and grapefruit. Bitter and dry finish.

M. Medium bodied, fizzy carbonation.

D. Great brew, good balance. I could keep this brew and usually do, in my cellar. I am glad I live so close to the brewery that I never run out.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2011 00:34:22 | More by smibroncos
Photo of Tucquan


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2010-12-08 at Rivermont Pizza in Lynchburg, VA.

A - Clear orange amber with a pillowy white head.

S - Mild grain, belgian yeast, oranges.

T - Sour bitterness up front, then the big yeast flavor, grass, oranges, more sourness. Finishes pretty dry and mildly bitter. A nice flavor.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Mildly creamy and effervescent.

D - More of a sipper than quaffable for me but quite enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 17:37:20 | More by Tucquan
Photo of barleywinefiend


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

A: Poured a hazy peachy amber color with active carbonation and a thick, persistent head.

S: Nose has crisp yeast scents complemented with fruity notes and a bit of peppery spice.

T: Light Belgian yeasy, some spice, clove and light booze sting

M: Alcohol warmth shows up more and more as the beer warms up. Nice feel, some bubblegum flavors

D: Very good

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2010 03:04:07 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of ozzyCobblepot

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, bright copper color--brighter than expected for a dark ale, but looks like a refreshing summer brew that'll be perfect for ending a hot & humid day in Brooklyn. Brilliant citrus & pulpy fruit tones, with a slight hint of bitter hops rounding out the nose. Sweet, citrus, grainy malt flavors, vanilla(?). Great carbonation, moderate body rolls and lingers slightly sweet. A delicious, moderate-bodied summer brew that riffs on the style, adding something uniquely refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2010 23:49:24 | More by ozzyCobblepot
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with active carbonation, minimal head and little lacing. Scent is of sweet carmel malts, hints of nuts, apple and banana whiffs with a touch of spice. Taste is mostly the sweet carmel malts with touches of toffee, some fruit flavors present include the apple, banana, touch of cherry, a touch of white bread and only a kiss of peppery spice. Slightly muddled tasting. Lighter side of medium bodied, slight lingering sweetness. A slightly complex beer that comes across as muddled instead of flavroful.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2010 13:29:15 | More by rfgetz
Photo of kdawg105


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at Taco Mac on tap. Wow an excellent brew. It had a perfect amber color with a smell of fresh hops and a slight sweet smell of malts. The taste was great man I was like this beer is actually worth $7 especially with the chalice. Thanks again Taco Mac. The mouthfeel was smooth and crisp and the same time which made for a wonderful drinkability. Man I would highly recommend trying this beer. I loved it though I have not yet searched for it in the store.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2010 21:43:03 | More by kdawg105
Photo of Cyberkedi


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

Comes out of the tap a pretty clear amber with a fine off-white head. I did not get much, but this was doubtless a product of how it was poured. Sweetish aroma is malty and strong and has a subtle butterscotch undertone. Mouth-filling flavor is yeasty and malty and has a fruity undertone with a hint of butterscotch and a whisper of sweetness. Texture is tingly, fizzy and lively.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2010 00:26:25 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of BeerNemesis

New York

4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang "Rare Vos". On tap @ The Gramercy Tavern

The body is dark amber, hazy, and streaked with intermittent streams of little bubbles. Presented in a 16 oz. pint glass, filled to the brim. No head as served. It produces a thin film of sparse lacing.

Malty aromas waft over subtle grape and blueberry fruity notes culminating in a spicy tinge of cloves.

Biscuity and grainy malt flavor plunges into the mouth in a full bodied wave speckled with flecks of spicy yeast -- peppery, grassy, and pleasantly dry. Subtle fruity esters surface next, coalescing into a gustatory tapestry of chewy berries and and mildly bitter hops. Very well balanced and complex. The flavor progresses in a cascade of sensations from full bodied, to fruity, to bitter. Quite delightful really.

Full bodied but not thick. Oily but not slippery. Somehow it maintains a pleasantly round and robust body. The moderate carbonation works well to give the beer some backbone.

Very drinkable. No one flavor is that intense, but in conjunction they work a beautiful harmony, tugging and pulling on various aspects of the drinking experience.

Top fermented. This is a sublime Belgian Dark Ale, really quite different from others I've tried. Well balanced and flavorful.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2010 03:03:17 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at BXL East on 51st and 2nd, midtown Manhattan. BXL Cuvee is BXL Belgian Cafe's house beer, brewed exclusively for the cafe by Brewery Ommegang.

Poured into a Duvel Green tulip.

Appearance: 1 inch white head, dissipates quickly. Rings of lacing. Beer is a semi-translucent light amber.

Smell: Spicy and malty, with a strong note of orange peel and some licorice.

Taste: Mild licorice, orange peel, coriander, some pepperminty phenols, with a big bready finish. The taste delivers exactly what the (very inviting) smell promises, plus a bit more. The finish approaches yellow cake or pound cake. The beer is very spicy, with moderate carbonation and a well-balanced hop bite up front. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Good, relaxed carbonation, spiciness, and a warm, clean finish.

Drinkabilty: Excellent. Supremely refreshing, decent complexity of flavor, and a well masked ABV.

I was very impressed by this beer. I had just stopped into the cafe to try Duvel Green, but ended up liking the house beer more. Great beer for relaxing at a bar.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2010 03:41:31 | More by Pahn
Photo of botham


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Sugar Maple in Milwaukee. Pours a hazy amber color with one finger of healthy white head, good retention and no lacings.

Aroma is of Belgian yeast up front with undertones of subtle banana and citrus along with a mild sweetness and some subtle spice, almost reminiscent of a wit, though dialed back in intensity.

Taste follows the nose with the profile of a wit, though a bit less citrusy and spicy than a typical wit. There is wonderful proportioning, with a character not much like a Belgian Dark. Goes down smooth with residual fruity yeast and a touch of malty spice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a fruity yeast aura and a finish of residual yeast.

Drinkability is good. An easy going Belgian that does the right things well and holds back on the right things just as well. Nicely crafted. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2009 16:21:06 | More by botham
Photo of ffejherb


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Resurrection Ale House on 10/3/09.

A - Very hazy, peachy golden/orange color with one finger of fluffy, bright white head that retained well and deposited a fair amount of lace on the glass.

S - Initial aroma blends spicy, peppery notes with fruity esters suggesting apple and citrus fruit. Hints of clove and basement funk also emerge as the liquid warmed up. Malt base consists of toasted grains and bready notes.

T - Subtly complex with the typical saison attributes: fruity esters, spicy yeast and a hint of pepper and clove. While there is some earthy bitterness in the backend, the finish is actually quite Berliner Weiss-esque with a splash of sourness and a prevalent toasted grainy malt character.

M - Medium bodied with substantial carbonation and a syrupy texture. Slight sourness with plenty of residual sweetness and a hint of earthy bitterness on the palate.

D - A superb saison, Rare Vos is definitely an excellent representation of the style. I'm realy surprised it took me so long to try this.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2009 12:12:48 | More by ffejherb
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,352 ratings.