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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,770 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,770
Reviews: 1,080
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 120
Gots: 244 | FT: 0
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,770 | Reviews: 1,080 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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!

BEERchitect, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

Phyl21ca, May 09, 2005
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.7%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -14%

GRG1313, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

mikesgroove, May 03, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14%

ygtbsm94, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -1.7%

jaydoc, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2 finger frothy head with excellent lacing on a cloudy orange with amber and brown hues body. Dark fruit, yeast, some citrus, caramel malts. this one is really bland actually. Flavor is the mosty unidimensional with some herbal and bland barley up front moving to orange peel citrus otherwise nothing else. Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. I was expecting a lot from this one and it was very disappointing.

kylehay2004, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Knapp85, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

ChainGangGuy, May 27, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -1.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

oberon, Jul 23, 2003
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.7%

largadeer, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

TMoney2591, May 28, 2011
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.7%

SocalKicks, Jul 16, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -1.7%

JAHMUR, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

zeff80, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml caged and corked bottle. The label makes it sound like this is an amber witbier.

This beer pours a slightly cloudy, medium golden amber hue, with three fingers of foamy, creamy, and marshmallow-esque ecru head, which maintains an increasingly familiar stubborn retention, once again eventually leaving a wide ring of drooping lace around the glass when it does deem it permissible to dissipate.

It smells of earthy, zippy yeast, mild bready wheat and pale grain, a bit of ripe banana, suggestions of underripe citrus, rather subtle savoury spice, and musty leafy hops. The taste is edgy grainy, cereal-heavy wheat malt, a thankfully much-lessened yeastiness, mild musty dark fruit, some still subdued clove and white pepper spiciness, and floral, somewhat funky hops.

The carbonation is kind of frothy, but ultimately on the low side, the body a wavering medium weight, and just a bit too prickly to be considered all that smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the grain more and more outmatched by the musty, herbal nature, be it from spice, hop, or yeast.

Definitely on the funky side of Belgian pale ales, with a hefty nod to all things fruity, though the witbier treatment kind of falls flat with the weak-seeming spice and aforementioned intermixed fruitiness. I cannot tell a lie and say that this lacks flavour, but it's just not my particular thing.

biboergosum, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

NeroFiddled, May 31, 2005
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of my absolute favorite beers, especially on tap. pours a slightly cloudy carrot colored orange with a lacey white head 2 inches thick. smells just a hint sour, with belgian yeast backing it up. a nice caramel malt sweetness meandering through as well. taste is crisp, and not like a classic amber, no residual sweetness to speak of, and a fairly sharp quick refreshing finish. this is a very well made glass of beer, and one that i wish was never empty. the nice finish, medium abv, and medium to light body make this a really drinkable beer. i find new ways to appreciate it every time i have one. just fantastic!

StonedTrippin, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Jason, May 26, 2002
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy apricot color with a large effervescent cream colored head, even webbing of lace delicate and beautiful Belgian style ale poured from a 12oz. bottle conditioned vessel. Aroma has fruit sweet nectar picking up some sharp apple tones, and cherries thrown in there to make it a bit sweet and sour. Slightly musty yet peppery yeast effervesence makes this beer one of the most appetising american made belgium styles ales I have come across. Sweet sharp malt tones with fruit phenols dancing along the palate what a great beer, same yeast profile just a tad peppery in the flavor profile and a mild bitter hop profile to go along with it. Just amazing that this beer wasn't brewed in Belgium, in my eyes the high carbonation makes this beer able to cut right through the flavors of a well done prime rib or any other lucious meat. Medium in body a true blessing to any beer lover, and this Brewery Ommegang product may just be the most drinkable other than Hennepin. Just simply a must try wonderful strong ale.

WVbeergeek, Jul 13, 2003
Photo of nickfl
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Two and a half fingers of white head, supported by a clear, bright golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves a moderate coating of lace.

S - Herbal hops, tropical fruit, pepper and coriander.

T - Malty and a bit spicy/ phenolic. Herbal hops appear in the middle and contribute bitterness to the tangy, sour finish.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - I really recall this being a better beer than it is, but I have no reason to think that there is anything with this bottle. Nothing particularly bad about it, but it is just kind of dull and unremarkable, especially the flavor.

nickfl, May 25, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

RblWthACoz, Sep 04, 2008
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,770 ratings.