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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,346 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2346
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
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Ratings: 2,346 | Reviews: 1,057 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Cellarable. Nice hoppy carbonation from bottle conditioning after about 3 months. Light with Abundant head that settles into lace sealing of malt and Light spices in yeast including cinammon. Creamy mouth feel and must be sipped. Popular. Fruity aroma. I think the ladies like this too.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2004 03:24:31 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear amber with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, caramel, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2012 00:57:07 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly murky butterscotch. The massive head is ecru in color with a yellowish tint and looks to have the consistency of an excellent lace maker. Fooled again; an underwhelming number of smallish chunks end up on the glass while a stiff mesa of foam sits defiantly in the center of the glass, refusing to fall lower than a few fingers.

Clove is the first aroma that I notice, but there are others present as well, including fermented apples and pears with an underlying mustiness, hay and a hint of white pepper. The beer has a pleasant flavor with a mild sourness and a clove-like yeastiness that marks it as a Belgian. Or in this case, a Belgian-style ale.

The spicy fruitiness lasts the longest, but isn't as supported as it could be due to the light body. For that reason, Rare Vos is more subtle than many of its style brethren. It fades from modestly sweet early to modestly dry late and leaves the palate clean. The light, airy, well-carbonated mouthfeel makes drinking easy and burping frequent.

I like Rare Vos marginally more than I liked 'Ommegang squared', but it isn't great beer in my mind. It isn't overly complex and the flavor profile doesn't push my buttons all that hard. I'm still glad that I gave it a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 18:11:34 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
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
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy amber color ale with a huge white foamy head with excellent retention. Aroma of floral malt, sweet hops with some subtle spices and a touch of Belgian-type yeast. Taste is a nice mix between some floral sweet malt and discreet yeast with some spices. Body is just above average but carbonation is a bit low for a Belgian Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2005 14:14:50 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

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

Artisinal to the core, this 'Sly Fox' of a beer steals the flavors of suble dried fruits and bread crust from dubbel ales, yet still with the dryness and drinkability of Belgian pale ales. What a bold leap with this flagship ale.

Pouring a true medium amber color, the beer's early carbonation settles and the resulting head is creamy, fluid, and sturdy. The barley stained head laces fairly well, with sparse pockets of foam left behind. A diffused glow emmits from the moderate haze. A very handsome appearance that's maybe understated.

A bready, lightly biscuity and crusty aroma provides the pillow for fruit and spice. Dates, figs, and other dried fruits (cherries, apples, appricots...) give a suble glimpse into the medium sweet and estery nose. Lightly spiced with corriander and white pepper, the yeast is very much at work with the aromas of this beer.

The bready/biscuity/crusty flavors continue where the nose leaves off. Medium malty flavors of caramel and bread crust give ample support for a blend of stone fruits, dried fruits that stop shy of the intensity of raisons or prunes. Not yet fruit cake in nature, the appricots, cherries, apples, nuts and figs give a rich yet moderate tone to taste and without becomming rich or sweet. These fruit and malt flavors are the ideal balance for the spices of dried orange peel, corriander, cinnamon-nutmeg-allspice, white pepper, and alcohol. With such variety in flavor, the strength of each simply remain moderate and in superb balance as not to overwhelm the palate with any dominant flavor- truly a new flavor with each sip.

Creamy and moderately rich, the beer has an even keel fade from initial semi-fullness into a soft simmer at mid palate where the carbonation waivers and the alcohol dryness sets in. Drying late into a malty-dry finish, the alcohol has a menthol cooling feel and a fleeting malt texture. Never reaching peak dryness, the beer has a unique shaddow that keeps the memory of flavor alive into the next sip, but without any lingering sweetness, maltiness, bitterness, or spice.

While Rare Vos never recognizes any of the styles that are generally given to Belgian Ales, it simply does its artistry with benevolence, grace, and artistry- just as true Belgian brewers would have it!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2005 01:14:31 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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

Poured from a 12-ounce capped bottle into a Bruery tulip. This is the number one BDA and I had somehow neglected to try it up until this point.

The color is a dark peach color with a single-finger white head that fades down to a quarter-inch and stays for awhile. Pretty good lacing as well. The aroma consists of some honey and Belgian yeast as well as a bit of pear and some slight dark fruits.

The flavor is quite nice with a big dose of pear, yeast, and some light banana. There is a very, very small amount of white pepper in the background. I also get a hint of stone fruit. The feel is somewhat light with good carbonation and a bit of creaminess. This drinks quite well and is one of the better Ommegang brews that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 03:17:20 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured hazy dark orange-amber into a snifter glass with a generous head, which took a long time to settle down into a delicate lacing. There is a moderate to strong level of carbonation.
S: Dark fruits and malty sweetness are apparent in the aroma.
T: The initial flavors resemble the aroma, but are followed by hints of spices and a bit of bitterness in the finish. There is good balance among the different tastes, as one does not overpower the others.
M: The beer is medium bodied and feels a bit earthy on the palate, but the carbonation lends some smoothness.
D: This is a very versatile beer; it could be paired with food or just sipped by itself.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:12:35 | More by metter98
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$5.25 for a 16oz. serving at the Crabapple Taco Mac location. Served, oddly enough, with a gigantic orange slice.

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium copper body

Smell: Aroma of toasted malts with unripened bananas, candied dried fruits, and coriander.

Taste: Toasty, bready maltiness with a restrained sweetness. Fruity and a bit flowery. Coriander and maybe even a cinnamon stick tossed in. Tempering hop bitterness. Pervasive, sour yeastiness throughout. Dry, yeasty finish.Banana lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, easy-drinking brew from Ommegang. Certainly worth a try. Oh, and the orange slice? It was delicious.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2008 19:25:43 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep orange with a medium head that sticks around for quite some time,the aroma is orangy and pretty clovey.The taste is a little tart to begin with and a lingering spiciness to it.Nice mouthfeel to it and seems to be pretty drinkable, something a little different.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2003 20:11:55 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

See, there is a beer with "Rare" in the name that doesn't get blasted by many BAs. It pours a cloudy red-orange topped by a finger of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises clove, orange peel, black pepper, light nutmeg, wheat, and a plenty o' bread, which seems to smother everything else after a few sniffs. The taste tones down the bread in favor of the spicier notes, and the orange really shines through a bit more here. I think I get a touch of cinnamon in the background. The body is a light-ish medium, with a light moderate (though kinda prickly) carbonation and a finish that borders on the refreshing. Overall, a pretty nice Belgian-style brew, but I think it's one of the lower points in Ommegang's repertoire.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 00:46:46 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle - cellared for roughly a year. Carefully poured from a long-standing, chilled bottle it's a perfectly clear orange amber beneath a big-bubbled head of white foam that holds splendidly and leaves some thin splatters of lace about the glass. The nose is lightly fruity (apricot, lemon rind, orange), a touch cork-like or musty, and subtly spicy. In the mouth it's light-medium bodied and zesty on the tongue due to its effervescent carbonation. The flavor is exactly as the nose suggets it might be with a bit more sweet malt, a touch more fruit, a sprinkling of delicate floral hops, and alot of peppery spice! It's well-balanced, but it relies more on its thin maltiness and peppery yeast to do that than it does hop bitterness. It finishes dry and refreshing with a quick passing of fruitiness followed by some lingering chalky dryness. The yeast pour brings out a little more character and lends the body a touch of girth; and I prefer it that way. Additionally, I don't feel that this beer really gains anything from cellaring other than to drop some of the yeast out of suspension (a rough, fresh bottle can be a bit much). Overall, as a Belgian-style pale ale, this is right on the mark! Love it or leave it!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2005 01:29:42 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle.

This beer pours a slightly cloudy golden amber hue, with three fingers of foamy, creamy marshmallow ecru head, which maintains increasingly familiar stubborn retention, once again eventually leaving a wide ring of drooping lace around the glass when it does dissipate. It smells of earthy, zippy yeast, mild wheat grain, a bit of ripe banana, and musty hops. The taste is edgy grainy, cereal-esque wheat malt, a much-lessened yeastiness, a mild musty fruitiness, some subtle clove and white pepper, and floral, somewhat funky hops. The carbonation is kind of frothy, but ultimately on the low side, the body medium weight, and too prickly to be considered all that smooth. It finishes fairly dry, the grain outmatched by the musty, herbal nature, be it spice, hop, or yeast.

Definitely on the funky side of Belgian pale ales, with a hefty nod to the fruity. I can't say that this lacks flavour, even if it's not my particular thing.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 23:35:57 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

McCall said, in his review, that regular, as well as Cave-Aged, Rare Vos goes well with spicy foods, and it's a good thing, for I'm sampling as I dine on Ethiopian food, and you couldn't want spicier! (although tonight's meal is on the mild side)
There comes off the cage, now for the cork...POP!..and we pour...pale orangeish color, good-sized creamy head..aroma is fresh, yeasty, fruity, uplifting, and more character shines through, more sweet, candyish, even...distinctly sugary, and the perfect profile for a Belgian-style ale bent on delivering deliciusness!
Oh, yum...oh, delicious...thick, fruity, ...heavenly, chock full o' sweetness...malt, hops in perfect alignment to produce a divinely candyish, magnificent dessert beer...or dinner beer...or Happy-to-Be-Alive-Beer (and who doesn't need a copious amount of these?)
In all honesty, the work done in the cave was fairly minimal, for I've just now consumed a 750 of non-cave-cellared Rare Vos, though certainly ensconced in an uncaring store's aisle for many, many months, for what that's worth...and the difference is not too remarkable ...a bit mellower, perhaps...wonderful mouthfeel, dazzling hops...my appreciation continues to grow...bright fruit flavors continue, peach, apricot...not as transcendent as I'd hoped, not like my experience with the Cave-Aged Ommegang.
Still, despite that, a really nice beer...really, really nice...mmmmn, did I say nice? I meant niiiiiiice!
Big thanks to purplehops for providing this bottle!

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2003 07:39:31 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, fruit, some spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is decently balanced with a good Belgian yeast backbone, mildly sweet flavors of caramel & fruit and a mild hops presence. The malt character is hearty. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice Belgian-style beer with a lot of flavor and substance that doesn't try to overpower you.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 02:27:31 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a .75l bottle; effervecent white head drops off to an amobea-like surface, no lacing at all

Smell: Slight fruitiness and leather smells

Taste: Slight bitterness of of old hops comes trough, some leather, cherry, sourness and tartness, alcohol in the finish. I suspect more maturation would've helped this bottle across the board.

MF: dry and prickly, great carbonation, probably this beer's selling point

I love belgian beer and some state side copy cats, this effort wasn't really up to my expectations, but close

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 04:33:23 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer poured a dark golden/ amber color with a large off-white head that remained throughout my tasting. It was a bit hazy and overcarbonated due to bottle conditioning, but it's not a real big issue. The aroma smells of sweet Belgian malts and corriander. It's a bit fruity. The taste is good. A bit plain for me. Their other beers offer a little more spiciness, but this one is a good choice. The taste has the same fruity taste, but not as strong as the aroma suggests. I detect very little hopping in this one. The mouthfeel is quite smooth. This beer is very drinkable and a delight. Ommegang offers plenty in the line quality Belgian ales. This one however, is my least favorite of theirs'.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2003 09:02:34 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork and caged bottle into a tulip. Beer is dark brown and hazy. Forms a medium sized off white / tannish head of small soapy bubbles that leave a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate and steady and made up of medium bubbles that rise quickly through the beer.

Slight caramel aroma, not much else.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth, sweet but muted. Beer is medium in body, carbaontion makes the body seem bigger. There is a roasty / sugary / caramel flavor in there. No aftertaste or real bitterness. Overall its pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 00:02:27 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours out an amber/orange color. A head white foamy head. Left lots of lacing.

S - It smelled of corriander and yeast. There was a sweetness to it as well.

T - The taste was fruity with hints of malt and spice. The alcohol is also present.

M - It is cirsp. And light to medium-bodied.

D - Very good. Not nearly as spicy as some Belgian-style ales but still quite good.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2006 22:25:59 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Love bottle conditioned Belgian, and love that Ommegang and Allagash are really bringing the art to the U.S.

A: Fluffy airy head that disappears quickly. Crystal clear reddish orange brown color, that is until I stir up the yeast and pour that in.

N: Medium malts, crystal malt like, some Belgian yeast and fruity aromas from the yeast, light alcohol, bready almost.

T: Light Belgian like malts and red/amber ale like malt flavors. Light alcohol flavor. Slight Belgian sugar and yeasty fruity flavors.

M: Ridiculous carbonation, pretty light body.

F: Very clean but very lingering light sweetness. A little syrupy. Crisp finish, almost like a good lager or bright amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 16:48:35 | More by jlindros
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

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

Pours a hazy orange-amber color, it is topped by a thick frothy light beige head. It is fairly well carbonated, with a streaming line of bubbles cascading up from the bottom of my glass. The aroma is spicy with notes of coriander, ginger, a dustiness and there is a nice fruitiness that reminds me of oranges, apricot, perhaps some notes of cherry cough syrup, and tropical fruit. The aroma is quite complex and intriguing, especially for a beer of this strength.

The beer is lightly sweet up front, but then becomes dry in the middle, the lingering finish moves back to sweetness, but one that is dominated by caramel. This beer is nicely fruity, with notes of cherry, a hint of apple, banana and raisin. This beer is lightly spicy, with notes of clove, ginger, and mace. The nice soft fruitiness of this beer definitely is the dominant characteristic. There is a nice maltiness here as well, it accentuates the fruitiness. The maltiness has notes of caramel, and lightly toasted malt.

This beer is quite tasty, and quite well balanced. The interplay between the smooth fruitiness and the sharp spiciness is quite complimenting. This beer is definitely a work of craftsmanship, it is quite well balanced, yet quite flavorful for a beer of this strength. Actually this might be the best beer that Ommegang makes.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 16:00:39 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours out as a slightly cloudy amber color. The head if fluffy and tan. The lacing is pretty nice on the glass. The smell ofthe beer has a good amour of yeast and some hops on the nose. The taste ofthe beer has a soft malt sweetness with a bitter dry aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and remains drinkable. Overall it's a pretty good brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 23:17:06 | More by Knapp85
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pint in Alfie's on 9th Ave, New York on 18 Jan 2013: chalk board called it a 'Belgian style Amber' with 'Rare Vos' as an afterthought in brackets.

Belgian style Amber it is though, very drinkable in deed.

Slight cloud within the pour: light amber to dull gold in colour with a thinning white head on top.

The aroma was a mixed bag of smells, yeast, corriander and malts in that order.

The taste followed the smells too: add some grain feel into the blend, this was an easy drinking semi-sweet brew that I took too greatly: couldn't have another though, too many others to try!

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2013 04:35:08 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

Pours cloudy orangish/brownish with a creamy head this is very well-retained. It leaves trailing lace.

The smell is of fruitcake with sugary spices. A touch of alcohol. Wonderfullly rich smell.

The taste is of sweet fruity malt with spiced earthy breadiness. Warming alcohol notes emerge but never overwhelm. It has a creamy body with a spicy tang. A tartness balances out the sweetness. Just a touch of hops emerge as it warms and nears the finish. It's very well-balanced, with the sweet spiciness coming out ahead. It has a long, crisp, dry finish.

It has a nice texture with a lingering fruity spiciness.

This is a very nice "sipping" brew. A very nice interpretation of a Belgian. Serves well as an apperitif or as a complement to a creamy Belgian or French cheese plate.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 00:49:49 | More by jwc215
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RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a thick creme head. Doughy, inky, yeasty nose. Flavor is smooth. High amounts of dough. Lots of it. Minor spicy. More minor funk. Some citrus fruits are there too. It's smooth and well done. Feel has a biting carbonation and the liquid is good. Very easy to drink. A good Belgian style ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2008 05:19:39 | More by RblWthACoz
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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,346 ratings.