Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

3,072 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,072
Reviews: 1,124
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%
Wants: 165
Gots: 451 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,072 | Reviews: 1,124
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Phatz for this 750ml corked and caged brown bottle that I shared w/ octopus87 and friends.

Poured cold into a tumbler.
A - A hazed amber w/ a thin white head. The head produces a moderate amount of lace. The yeast from bottle conditioning was included in the pour.

S - Malty, belgian yeast aroma, bready.

M - A lively fizziness gives the malt some levity. A gentle spice and hop woodiness in the texture adds to the overall feel.

T - A mild flavor of toasted grain mixes w/ spice and yeastiness. A bready and gentle pine tasting hop and phenolic after taste. Very pleasant flavor, yet a bit mild.

D - A pleasant malty belgian. Worth a try for sure. A very tasty ale one I would probably pair w/ poultry.

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.

Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
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

Photo of Rifugium
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +13%
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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
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!

Photo of smcolw
3.47/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Very cloudy amber color. The head starts off well but recedes to a single layer. Leaves impressive lace on the glass.

There's an element of American pale ale smell to this beer. There is a distinct aroma of hops.

The Belgian yeast is the key taste here. Relatively thin with a very high level of carbonation. The hop flavor only shows up at the end. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from SpeedwayJim in Round 4 of the 666 BIF; thanks Jim! Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy orange amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head leaves no lacing and lasts for a few minutes.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian style yeast, fruity malts, and very light bananas. Pretty nice, with a lot of dark fruit.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, bananas, fruity malts, yeast, cloves, light citrus, light floral and earthy notes. Again, lots of dark fruits, and more bananas than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink. Great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a nice amber ale with a Belgian style kick to it. Lots of dark fruits mixing with some bananas and bready malts. Very easy to drink, would give another shot.

Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 11/13/2012. Pours moderately hazy and cloudy orange amber color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big banana, pear, apple, orange peel, light caramel, clove, pepper, coriander, floral, bread, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast notes with malt and spices. Taste of big banana, pear, apple, orange peel, clove, pepper, light caramel, bread, coriander, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, orange peel, clove, pepper, caramel, bread, coriander, floral, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with malt sweetness and spices; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly slick, foamy, and crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian pale ale! Great flavor balance and complexity; and extremely smooth to drink, even at high carbonation. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Rare Vos poured from a chilled bomber bottle was hazy amber in the glass, with a creamy, durable off-white head. The nose is fruity, more so than the lightly fruity flavor. The flavor also has some peppery spice and nutty yeast. Some delicate hops in the mildly bitter finish and aftertaste.

M: good body, appropriate to style, and finishes dry.

O: more than credible US version of this Belgian style.

Photo of WesWes
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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'.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2007.

A: Pours a very lightly hazy amber in color with some light visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head the reduces to very thin patches and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed. There is quite a bit of visible yeast that pours into the glass at the end of the bottle.

S: There are aromas of a fruity yeast, some hints of spice/pepper, along with some sweet malts and hints of caramel/toffee.

T: Bready malts followed by a little bit of caramel/toffee malts, then the fruity yeast shows through, and finally some very light spice/pepper. There is a slight bit of oak to this beer as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

O: A very drinkable beer and one that I have had many times, I think that it actually improves some with aging though my guess is that aging it much more than 5 years and it could be on the down slope. I really like this beer and it could easily be a session beer for me.

Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken last month (8/21)

Pours a clowdy amber with thick 2 finger head. Big bubbles fade quickly to a lacey half finger of off white head. Fruity aroma with yeast present. Taste is filled with yeast, nearly bread like but has a fruit character akin to apples. Smells also of apples and spice as well. Light mouthfeel and mildly warming sweet finish.

Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/07/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked, but undated. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Very hefty large bubbled head. A lighter brown-copper colored pour. Perfectly adequate lacing as well.

Smell- Spices all around. Maybe a touch of dark fruit in the nose. Lots of pepper.

Taste- Dark cherry flavor hits you right off the bat. Not really sweet dark cherry. Kind of a dark cherry mixed with some real dark chocolate. Pepper, anise, clove and other spices all surround the alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Lower than expected carbonation. Not too heavy.

Drinkability- Wasn't expecting the flavor I got. Still tasting it in my mouth. Interesting and enjoyable. May not be for everyone though.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appears a hazy golden hue with a gargantuan head that leaves ample lacing on the tulip glass.

Aromas include yeast, fruit, sugared candies, malt (Belgian), apples, and alcohol.

The taste is a balanced offering of everything I detected in the scent. Spiced fruit with some bread and yeast, followed by a zesty subtle bitterness, like lemon and/or orange zest. The sweetness, which tastes like fruity yeast or yeasty fruit, whichever you like, is minimal enough that I couldn't see it becoming cloying.

The feel is medium to full bodied with long lasting flavor and an above average level of carbonation.

This is a very good beer and worth buying.

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color with a short head.

Smell: yeast, pears, and apples are most notable.

Taste: caramel, big yeast flavors, ripe plums, pears, and golden apples. Bitterness is moderate but nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish with some mild dryness late.

Drinkability: very easy to quaff this beer. This is a beer you can drink all day long.

Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Once more, Bridgewaters Pub in 30th Street Station continued to impress me with their selection. This was on-tap on my way back to LNC from PHL on 20 January 2006, following the Rich Wagner lecture at Yards.

Danny brought this to me witha thick, tawny head with decent retention. The color was a slightly hazy medium-amber. The nose had a distinctive yeast-driven mustiness. The mouthfeel was thick, full, and very effervescent. The taste was fruity (like Juicyfruit gum), musty, and with a tang of spiciness. The finish was very dry with the mustiness leaving a dusty feeling on the back of my throat. Yow!

Photo of tdm168
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - orangish amber with a big mountain of dense, bubbly, white head that has decent retention

S - caramel, baked apples, faint yeast

T - caramel, dough, apples, faint yeast in the finish

M - medium bodied, crisp, a little heavily carbonated

This is a nice offering from Ommegang. It doesn't have that overpowering Belgian funk that often accompanies this style. It has a nice flavor and is easily drinkable. It's worth a try.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle

A- A nice bright golden, slight bronze look to it out of a Ommegang glass. A nice frothy white head sat on top looking rather thick. Once the foam faded into nothing a few swirls would bring it back. Tight lacing.

S- Deep caramel from toasted malts and some bittering hops giving off a rather earthy aroma. Some biscuits and bread with faint fruit like apple. Rather straight forward but gets better as it opens up.

T- Not a whole lot going on but I get a nice blend of malts and apples, with a nice bitter hop taste to make it a nice quaff. Sweet caramel is up front and makes a dent while lasting on the tounge for a bit. nice floral and earthy notes from this.

M- I did not care for this cold but as it warmed the flavor came out on the mouth more. Medium bodied with not over the top carbonation. Goes down easy and big gulps can be taking without being over whelmed.

D- Extremely drinkable with low alcohol, making it even easier to drink a lot. Vos tasted kind of bland to me fresh off the tap but 10 or so minutes in the flavor just came together making me smile. A good Belgian Pale Ale of which there are alot.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours an opaque amber, possibly got some yeast there in the pour, medium white head, solid retention.

S: Bread, Belgian yeast, spice, pretty much what I expected.

T: Tasty dark bread mixing with dark fruit esters starts out the drink. Strong clovey spice bluntly intervenes, with a light acidity in the end.

M: Too much carbonation at first, but dies down with a gentle swirl, as the beer warms up the acidity comes out more, overall light/medium body.

D: This is a tasty dark Belgian-style beer and certainly one of the cheapest 750s you're going to see in the store, that alone demands a repurchase at some point. Good beer.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
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!

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 3,072 ratings.