Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,112 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,112
Hads: 3,095
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 169
Gots: 468 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,112 | Hads: 3,095
Photo of brianjay
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I haven't had this one in a while. Decided to make a nice session of it this time around.

Poured into a goblet style glass: quite a bit of creamy white head which faded away quickly and left a bright white lace around the glass. The body was a unique amber, with shades of brown and orange, cloudy and lively. Upon first smell, the yeast and alcohol were dominating, with a subtle, sweet spice aroma lingering. As it sat in the goblet, the air allowed it to open up and the fruity, sweet scents came through more.

The initial taste was quite a shock to the senses: bubbly and peppery (there should be a "!" added to that) on the tongue. The finish was smooth and sweet, with taste of orange, sugar and spice (and yes, everything nice.) while still retaining the respectable bite of its original impression.

This one just got smoother, and tastier further down the glass. The taste became a bit more tame, but kept all the qualities that make it a great beer. This is one to enjoy outside as the sun is just about to set, or in the dim light of a great bar. (1,060 characters)

Photo of RashyGrillCook
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A "true belgian style amber ale" from Cooperstown, NY. Apparently, rare vos is Flemish for sly fox. Sports a distinct, foggy orange honey color that looks as refreshing as it sounds and retains a "rocky" head quite well. Smell is typical of quality amber ales with sweet, but mellow, notes of cloves, bread and citrus. Taste is similar to smell, accentuated by a sharp (almost overbearing) shot of carbonation. There is a lingering bitterness as well as some buried caramel accents. This does get a little sweeter as it gets warmer and overall a very decent brew. (563 characters)

Photo of Altrurian
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Golden-hued, with an orange cast. The frothy head fades fairly quickly. The nose, concentrated in a 12-oz. tulip, is of toffee, citrus, and pepper, satisfyingly affirmed by the taste. The beer is refreshingly prickly on the palate. This sophisticated blend of flavors, combined with a relatively modest ABV, makes for a noteworthy thirst-quencher, and an able accompaniment to a piquant meal. (392 characters)

Photo of nogoodreason
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I lack the wide-mouthed stem glass the bottle insisted upon. Instead, I poured this into a pint-sized glass with a narrow bottom and middle with a tulip-esque bulb near the mouth. Served with a pan-seared steak and some very buttery parmesan asparagus.

Appearance: Pours an abso-fucking-lutely beautiful hazy red orange. Initially a behemoth head forms and threatens to overrun the glass. The head didn't stick around for long, but the beer still had a nice, consistent lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Not a particuarly stong smelling brew, a nice malty smell with touches of citrus. Perhaps the smell of the food was interfering with my ability to capture the scent, but this really doesn't have a particuarly pungent nose.

Taste: Malty, with orange peel(?), a faint but unquestionable banana taste. Well balanced, not too sweet, not too strong on the fruity flavors and just enough hops to give it a bit of bite. This is not a big beer, on the contrary, it is very mild and subtle. Not especially complex (for a belgian-style ale), but still quite good tasting.

Mouthfeel: Thick and fairly viscous with good carbonation bite. I like the way this one feels in my mouth.

Unlike most of the belgian-style ales I normally enjoy Rare Voss is not a burly behemoth of flavor. It is a mild, easy drinking brew. At 6.5 ABV, it was easy for me to drink a 750 ml. bottle and not feel more than a pleasant warmness. I went ridiculously well with the steak and aparagus, neither being overpowered by the food nor overpowering. This may be the the best session beer of this type I've had, and it is a great substitute for a table wine when consuming red meat. (1,673 characters)

Photo of Hobbz
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange-red presentation in the (Belgian) serving glass. Bubbly effervescence stirred its cloudy (bottle-conditioned) liquid, forming a hefty, foamy head.

Dried-orange and yeasty nose also was filled with a spicy aroma. I gathered its smell, and with each tasting, I liked it.

This beer's "thinnish" mouthfeel I think actually helps this one (I actually underlined this in my beer notes; then reading some of the other reviews, I can see how this is a very personal matter; one grasps -- or grapples with -- its "light-bodiedness" immediately).

Rare Vos is light and airy and conveys its flavors it bits and pieces as well: This pretty drinkable Belgian-style ale has hints of dried orange peel with a smidgen of sourness and background-hop-bitterness mixed in. (Almost slight green-apple tartness, but I wouldn't think it directly attributed to acetaldehyde?)

A great all-around lighter styled Belgian ale, and one I'd love to sample at the "sly fox" proper. (970 characters)

Photo of Soozy
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Split a bottle of this with a friend, poured into a tulip glass. This beer is f***in gorgeous. Golden orange, just looks like a perfect amber. Has a citrus smell to it, a bit of apple, smells almost like a cider.

Very spicy in taste. I couldn't pick up on them, but almost like a little bit of pepper, really liked it. This bottle was a gusher and it seemed very over-carbonated, but the drinkability is still high

Overall, great beer, would recommend this one for sure. (473 characters)

Photo of theBubba
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy rust-like color in my snifter. The head came on strong but was gone in short time. The moderate lace hung on and lasted to the end. Distinct aroma of pear and clove (sorry, no leather, tobacco, and other such like comparisons the beer cognescenti refer to. We home brewers and winemakers know about esters). The nice carbonation makes for lots of bite but leaves a smooth foamy mouthfeel after each swallow. Hops are just right. You know they exist, but you're not left with the bitterness of Ommegang's Hennipen. All in all, a very nice ale. One I'll drink many times over (as long as I have a job...otherwise I'll be drinking Busch at 4 bucks a six pack). As young Bobby Zimmerman said, "The times they are a changing". (737 characters)

Photo of ghetto90007
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750mL bottle into my New Belgium snifter. Would have preferred the tulip for this one in retrospect. Served at about 40 degrees, per the bottle's label recommendation. Let it warm to about 45 degrees for my second pour and enjoyed it a bit more.

L - Amber-orange, a bit cloudy. Stick your ear over the glass and you'll hear the busy crackle of carbonation. Off-white head, starts at about 2 fingers, has reasonable resilience - the big bubbles pop off, small bubbles stick around and cluster together. A thin layer (~2 mm) sticks around to the end. Carbonation is exciting on this one - holding the glass up and looking through the side, tiny bubbles of carbonation float in orderly threads from bottom of the glass to the top to join their heady brethren.

S - Sweet smell, hints of grain. Fruity. Alcohol is very apparent, especially right after the pour.

T - Definite sipper - has lots of body. 40 degrees was a bit cold and makes the substantial carbonation seem a little harsh. At 45-50 you can really start to appreciate this one. On the palate, it is spicy and fruity. But upon swallowing a dry, clean, yeastiness emerges. It's real nice. Ommegang is in NY but this tastes like a genuine Belgian.

F - Highly carbonated. As I mentioned above, mouthfeel is a bit harsh at lower temps, but is less aggressive if you let it warm just a little.

D - Enjoyable with a nice combo of lightness and gravity. Each sip stays interesting. Effervescence makes it a refresher.

I'll be keeping a bottle of this one on hand. (1,535 characters)

Photo of GolgiIPAratus
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 8.6.05

A massive two fingers of head crowned the glorious golden bronze brew. Foam like a latte. A patient one can watch it sneak away.

One smell is funky malts, super sweet and spicy. Belgium unleashed in my living room. I sense a light fragrance of licorice. A delicious aroma all around.

First sip is tangy and spicy, a rush of both feeling and taste. Light fruits linger in the body, sweetness coats the cheeks and tongue. A bitter finish with a tinge of alcohol keeps you aware of what you're drinking. Very light and fluffy in the mouth, but still with plenty of carbonation. Like the smell, this has a great flavor all around as well.

This is easily to drink. Good to toast with, bubbly and bright. A recent favorite and absolute pleasure to review! (776 characters)

Photo of TPSReports
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 11.2 oz bottled is served at 48 degrees from my cellar. There is no date on the bottle.

Pours and nice translucent medium amber color into my tulip with a very large white head. The head sticks areound for a while and is composed of 1/4 bb sized bubbles.

The nose is of grapes and cotton-candy, but not sticky syrupy sweet.

The flavor is somewhat non-descript. Prehaps it is overpowered by the Unibroue La Fin Du Monde I just finished. It's hard to imagine that this brew can be compromised by a pale ale, but maybe that is the case. Maybe not. I'm not sure that this brew has a strong taste, period. I was expecting more.

To date, this is my least favorite beer from Ommegang. 2 out of 3 ain't bad! (716 characters)

Photo of Victor
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Presentation= Poured in a tall 20oz glass with a nice head and good looking honey color.
Aroma= Fresh, clean and slightly sweet.
Flavor= A satisfying flavor with hints of caramel, lemon and something else I can’t explain but enjoyed.
Overall Ommegang did an excellent job with this Belgian Pale Ale. Refreshing, bubbly, crisp and satisfying! (344 characters)

Photo of xzqrut
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured from the tap, had a great appearance. It gave a nice amber/copper color, with a beautiful head that stuck to the end, with excellent lacing. It gave a nice spicy and orange smell, same flavors found in the taste. Mouthfeel was full and frothy. Excellent beer! (276 characters)

Photo of Lambstrong
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appear: Beautiful amber color with a thick golden head. Good head retention and good lacing.

Aroma: Caramel notes with pleantiful spices (all spice).

Taste: A lot of upfront spices. I detected cloves and all spice. I really enjoyed the balance of sweetness and spices. Although the spices are upfront, they are not overbearing.

Mouth: Very carbonated, but not over carbonated for this style of beer. Definately enough to get your tongue tingly. Good amount for a spicy beer. (478 characters)

Photo of Gwalchgwynn67
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Deep orange-red copper color with a big billowy, creamy head. Nose is faint orange and coriander. Taste is coriander and orange peel. More orange peel and a hint of floral on the finish, followed by coriander and clove. Nice balance. Refreshing with just right carbonation. This is an enjoyable beer that has enough complexity to maintain my interest, yet not so overdone as to demand my attention. (440 characters)

Photo of NolateM
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle about a year old poured into a Maudite tulip. Translucent dark orange, with a thick, lace-tastic, off-white head.

Smells like sweet orange-blossom honey (kinda looks like it too).

So wonderfully malty, yet not cloying in any way. Tastes like creamy molasses, honey, and dried apricots, yet somehow not very sweet at all (which I generally prefer anyway). Kind of peppery too. Just a very small hint of doughy yeast flavor, as I tend to decant. Complex enough, yet it doesn't bombard the palate, so it's perfectly refreshing to drink on this ridiculously hot summer night.

Well-carbonated, smooth, and easy to drink.

Mellow enough for people just getting into Belgian-style ales, and deliciously rich enough for the connoisseurs. I'd say it's my favorite offering from Ommegang. Always a pleasure to drink.


About $10 per four-pack (860 characters)

Photo of rosmhuire
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice white substantial frothy head. Beer itself is amber-colored.

S: Citrus, some spices (clove, coriander)

T: Very good. Refreshing. Citrus, spices, malt. I've said it before and I'll say it again about Ommegang - taste this blind and you'll never guess this isn't made in Belgium.

M: Great carbonation, nice weight on the palate.

D:Very drinkable, especially for a Belgian. Belgian-styled brews are not one of my favorites, though I appreciate the craftmanship that goes into making them. Cosequently, I usually would only drink one of them, but I could see myself putting back 2+ of this one (604 characters)

Photo of wages
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 oz tuliped goblet from a 22oz bottle.

appearance - 4/5 - Pours with a big slightly off-white head. Semi-cloudy orange color.

smell - 4/5 - Yeasty and fruity. Maybe apple or pear.

taste - 4.5/5 - Semi-sharp almost sour bite followed by pear. It's also got an odd spice flavor that I can't describe.

mouthfeel - 5/5 - A fairly high amount of carbonation. Moderately dry

overall - 4.5/5 - An interesting Belgian. It seems both complex and simple. I would like to try it again to see how I feel about it under different circumstances. (552 characters)

Photo of Stopper
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a hefty, slightly off-white, fluffy head on a burgundy-orange translucent body. The body is robustly fruity and slightly acidic with hints of red licorice and very ripe tomatoes. The first sip reveals a body medium in mouthfeel with a very complex spiciness mixed over a hint of tomatoes again. A malt base is discernable beneath this spicy blanket, but it?s difficult to pull out any distinguishing characters of the malt. Through to the finish, very little changes, though it becomes slightly drier and a very slight and mild hop character shows itself.

This is a very nice domestic ale with really interesting and unique characters hearkening to its Belgian muses. (682 characters)

Photo of GooberMcNutly
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml. Poured with a cream white head with large bubbles. Non-clear golden yellow with lots of suspended yeast. Yeast totally non-flocculating, so even a careful pour would have left 1/2 the bottle behind if I didn’t take some yeast. Aroma was typical Ommegang, sour and spicy with vapors of peach and cherry. Palate was less sour than aroma and about 1/2 way between Duvel and Ommegang Ommegang. The "fine dose of yeast" did cause massive rumbling in my plumbing later that night though. (489 characters)

Photo of gc4hokies
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A = pours a burnt orange color, bright. Very thick pronounced head that lasts the entire session. This beer is highly carbonated.
S = Malty clove aroma with strong alcohol notes
T = Again cloves with a slight licorice taste. Slight bitterness at the end. Dry finish. I liked this beer much better half way through the glass after a bunch of the carbonation had dissipated.
M = creamy, medium bodied beer

Overall = Pretty good. I like Belgian beers but I'm a bit of a novice at comparing the various brands. So far, there are other Belgian styles that I prefer over this. Chimay blue is a favorite. (599 characters)

Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Head pours at 3-fingers creamy, frothy, and eggshell white. Color is orange-amber with haze from suspended yeast. Progression found a 1/2 finger raft of head and creamy lacing down the glass.

S: Dominated by orange-citrus and ginger with a slight hint of clove-like spice.

F: The initial flavor presented a pronounced orange-apple sweetness with a slightly dry and lingering bitter finish. Spiciness, although advertised, is ever so light hinting at holiday-type flavors. Maltiness is a bit lacking for a Belgian or an amber ale.

M: Carbonation is on point, but the overall mouthfeel is thin and watery...again, additional malt character may have helped with this.

D: The light nature and sweet flavors make this a very session-able beer.

I felt this beer to have a bit of an identity crisis not discerning itself as a dark Belgian ale or an amber ale. The citrus flavors would have been better supported by a stronger backbone of malt character. Not a bad brew, but lacking in some key areas. (1,001 characters)

Photo of jhollick
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a burnt orange color with amber highlights. A nice fluffy white head appeared initially, but disappeared quickly. The smell is very sweet, with Belgian yeast, spice, and estery smells leading the way. Taste is similar, with the addition of some fruitier flavors such as banana and citric acid. A peppery flavor lingers towards the end of a taste, much like la Maudite. The aftertaste is dry and slick, as the sweetness of the yeast, malts, and fruits are offset rather aggressively (for the style) by hops. There is a lot of nice flavor here, and this is the first corked Belgian style ale I have had that isn't intimidatingly high in alcohol. This bomber will do me just fine. This is an interesting, exciting, and very drinkable take. In my parts, this is going for almost $9/bottle, rather than the $6ish it should be going for, so it is difficult to choose this over comparably priced Chimay. Still though, another stellar effort from Ommegang. (955 characters)

Photo of wampahoofus
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - What a beautiful pour! Lots of frothy white head that lasts several minutes. Plenty of lacing. Nice hazy yellow color which I would consider too light to be "Amber".

Smell - Lots of sweet esters. Bannana, lemon.

Taste - There is a lot of bitterness here. Not a hoppy bitterness, more like lemon zest. A bit of sweetness and pepper in the background.

Mouthfeel - Flavor lingers on the palette.

Overall - This is a beautiful beer. Full of flavor. The bitterness was not unpleasant but not expected. I prefer the other Ommegang brews tot this one. (561 characters)

Photo of mikel52588
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a beautiful dark amber hue, about a 2 finger head that dissipates quickly, lots of carbonation

Smell: its pretty complex, has an oaky yeasty citrusy and a clovey scent lingering in there

Taste: tastes like good..and then some. It's a sweet malty smooth taste with notes of citrus or something in the background.

Mouthfeel: a thin malt texture not too much to it; not to much of an aftertaste but the cloves come into play in this after taste.

Drinkability: very drinkable, not too heavy, its sweet and complex; it's a good sit down beer (554 characters)

Photo of Edward19
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (295 characters)

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
90 out of 100 based on 1,112 ratings.