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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.

2,362 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2362
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: 2,362 | Reviews: 1,057 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LI_PO12


4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Tulip

Appearance- copper/burnt orange. hazy, big white head with lots of lacing

Aroma- Belgian yeast, spicey, pepper, banana, fruity, apple and pear esters, funk, bready malts, very nice

Flavor- A little more spicy/funk here and less fruity than the aroma, well balanced, with a dry lingering finish

Mouthfeel- Medium, good carbonation

Overall- Very tasty, and one I've returned to many times. recommend trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 02:23:44 | More by LI_PO12
Photo of AwYeh


3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Foggy golden-amber color with two fingers of very frothy head and decent lacing.

S: Belgian yeast is at the forefront, with lots of banana, clove, bubblegum, and some tropical fruit. While it sounds pretty standard for a Belgian brew, it's well done here.

T: Some bread and citrus flavors come out to complement those in the aroma (yeast, banana, and clove).

M: Medium-bodied with lively carbonation, very smooth and creamy with a nice dry finish.

O: Solid offering from Ommegang; it evaded me for a long time, but I'm glad I finally picked a bottle up. For the price tag, this is definitely something I'll be buying again.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 06:06:10 | More by AwYeh
Photo of CochonKing

New York

4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours a caramel mixed with amber in color. Light frothy head that lasts for a couple of minutes. Excellent lacing - 4.5

Smell - Malt with notes of lemon and bubble gum with light caramel notes underneath. Leading into a nice spice note that ommegang is so amazing at. Cloves and ginger among many other spices are faint and almost undetectable in the back ground. - 5

Taste - Excellent malt forward flavor with clove and spices backing it that leave a long finish and a crisp and refreshing flavor. - 4.75

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light crisp bubbles. This beer is excellent on the palate . 4.75

I would recommend trying this beer with some braised pork belly. It pulls fat off the palate excellently.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 02:34:13 | More by CochonKing
Photo of NeedBeerHere


4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark amber/orange in color with a NICE three finger head with good retention. Smell is of nice Belgian yeast -- bananas and cloves. A little fruity in the nose but the yeast takes the forefront here. Taste is more of the nice Belgian yeast and what was in the nose. There is a little fruity hops with a great aftertaste that includes a slight bitterness but not overwhelming. I really love the Belgian yeast so this is all win for me. Mouthfeel is really quite thick for the style which is hard to do and keep all these variables together in such a nice beer. Really a nice beer that I haven't had for years and really glad I tried it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 04:13:30 | More by NeedBeerHere
Photo of JamieDuncan


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a few of the Ommegang christmas packs so am regular with Rare Vos. Good looking beer that smells very good. Very tasty, one of the better Ambers. Like the beer but would not buy on its own but would certainly buy as a value along with some of the other Ommegang beers. Excellent beer but not a great buy alone.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 03:29:27 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of ThaneMcC


4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- amber, with thin off white foam and mild effervescence

S- floral and fruit esters, very nice without being perfumey

F- sweet up front with transition to hoppy bitter balance with clean finish

M- good mouthfeel, good carbonation and astringent enough to cleanse the palate

O- overall very good beer, excellent belgian style beer at a reasonable price! Would definitely purchase again and share with friends

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 23:19:47 | More by ThaneMcC
Photo of MaximalC


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich, murky amber color with a bountiful cap of eggshell foam; the presentation is pretty much exactly what you expect from a Belgian ale. The aroma is fresh and vibrant, smelling of coriander, orange, shades of wheat, and some Saaz.

The taste is similar to the aroma, featuring each of the elements described above. There is also an accent of something resembling tropical fruit--not sure if that's the grains of paradise or something else. Just enough bitterness lingers long enough to finally peak through on the back end. The yeast lends a perky, chalky character that complements the other flavors nicely. The balance really is excellent, as no single facet ever overpowers another, and this remains true to the finish. The carbonation is predictably lively as well. The body, however, is noticeably thin and possessed of an unusual slickness for the style. It's not heinous, though it did strike me immediately upon tasting. A heavier body just would have supported the bountiful flavors more ably.

Overall, this is yet another zesty, vibrant, drinkable Belgian-style ale from Ommegang. This would be dynamite in the summer or spring.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 02:57:40 | More by MaximalC
Photo of Dodo2step


4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P- Wegman's in mechanicsburg

My 500th review

A- light amber color with a 3 finger head that is foamy and leaves a frothy laving on my cru. A nice mountainous head as well. great look and inviting.

S- fruity esters but almost floral like. there but not there a perfect combination almost. Citrus and yeasty maltiness.

F- the fruity esters follow a bready yeast. Very smooth transition. this is nice. not much else to say. damn good

M- light bodied yet creamy but smooth. goes down with ease. The grain warms my throat but it isn't strong.

O- a great beer for my 500th. I would love a case of it. This goes in to my top 10!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 01:40:31 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of delta490


3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours out a lighter cloudy amber. The creamy white head has great retention and leaves nice lacing

S- the aroma is almost non-existent having only a very slight citrus

T- the taste is also pretty subtle, with hints of citrus and caramel and spice bouncing around

M- full but not heavy

O- It's a well made beer which makes me wish it was more flavorful than it was. It is a dialed back version of a Belgian Dubbel and seemed muted.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 14:18:38 | More by delta490
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew


4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Amber with a touch of redness, hazy to cloudy, with a thick, dense head the color of vanilla cream; lacing was scant in comparison to the head.

S: A mix of grain and fruity esters, then orange oil, then a mix of citrus & evergreen notes from the hops, and finally some spices (white pepper & coriander).

T: Flavors evolve quickly in the mouth, so it took a few sips to really take it all in. There's a moment of bready flavors that quickly drowns under a wave of tart, fruity flavors. Malt sweetness is there for a moment, then gone as tart fruit takes over again. The finish has two waves of bitterness: a short, spicy wave where I definitely appreciate the flavoring a they threw into the kettle to boil; and a second, lingering wave of tangy-bitter hops.

M: Crisp and well-carbonated. Thin, and more dry than moist, although not quite astringent.

O: A superb Belgian ale with spices. Mine paired nicely with Asian crackers and spicy ahi poke. Probably better suited to warmer weather, but good anytime.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 20:15:35 | More by TappaKeggaBrew
Photo of Beer-A-Lot


3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a great look and feel but is lacking in taste in my mind. Needs more citrus or more maltiness to keep it from tasting flat. I love Ommegang and I think they do Belgians right, but this is a bit lacking for me. Wish I liked it more. I'll try it in bottle to see if its the keg but maybe I'm just not a fan.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2013 01:52:26 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of Edward19

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2013 16:38:39 | More by Edward19
Photo of ckollias


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours an amber hue with a thick white head that slowly dissipates leaving a great trail and solid persistent lace.

S: Sweet bread and Belgian yeast aroma with hints of Belgian candy.

T: Sweet Belgian brew with a slightly fruity tart middle that finishes dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid beer – great flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 02:21:27 | More by ckollias
Photo of karengarys


3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75


Take this review with a grain of salt. I'm not a big Belgian guru, so I'll just head into this from a standard beer junkie point of view. You've been warned.


this pours a very nice hazy amber, leaving a nice off-white head, but it is a little pop-like.


This smells - Any guesses? RIGHT! CLOVES! Spicy. Like, food spices, not beer spices. I guess beers like this are supposed to be this way. Some day I'll understand. In the mean time I'm getting cloves, flowers, sugar...


Taste has a lot of.... Any guesses? Cloves! Cloves, and pepper, some nutmeg, some cinnamon... more... Fennel? no. But something with an edge. But there is a lot going on, and it is very interesting.


Mouthfeel is very clean. It is nice and fizzy, and as you drink it (mine didn't sit very long), it just carbonates all over. Yummy!

Overall, this is pretty good, but brace yourself for an overwhelming spice thing.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2013 02:04:20 | More by karengarys
Photo of Fatehunter


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a foamy two fingers of head on a cloudy medium straw colored body. Great retention.
The aroma has lots of bright fruit: apricot, banana and orange.
The taste is full of flavor but still easy drinking. Mild sweet fruit notes with some lemon bitterness.
The texture is a fun fizzy with moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2013 00:57:14 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall glass at Cure New Orleans. No freshness date.

A- Pours a light amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring around the edge of the glass.

S- Heavy bubble gum aroma with some herbal quality.

T- The bubble gum continues along with some wheat and spice. Big Belgian yeast presence with possibly some candi sugar.

M- Slightly sharp from the medium-high carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Love this beer for its somewhat intense bubble gum flavor that has a generous dose of malt and yeastiness (is that a word?).

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 02:17:40 | More by Immortale25
Photo of Ryan_Graham


4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber color with one finger head that lasts throughout the drinking process. Solid lacing. This is a beautiful looking beer. A bit yeasty to the nose with a hint of fruit. Tastes great. I mean outstanding. The balance is almost perfect. It goes down smooth and ends with a fruity, hoppy finish. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired but the initial flavor is exceptional. Overall, this is an awesome beer. I would recommend this to a friend in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 01:15:44 | More by Ryan_Graham
Photo of MikeWard


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. Best by 1/23/14.

Beautiful looking beer, golden slightly hazy body with 2 finger creamy head, eventually dissipating to 1/2 finger. Good lacing. Nice carbonation, a slow steady stream of bubbles.

A sort of sweetness on the nose, with a little fruit.

Nice tasting beer. Nice and lively due to the carbonation. I confess to not having much undrstanding of the nuances of tastes in Belgians, but this is very enjoyable.

As mentioned, tingling on the mouth.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Can see having this again on occasion.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2013 12:20:13 | More by MikeWard
Photo of CSFerrier


4.81/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75


A beautiful hazy amber that's darker at the top.

Smells like many of the other Ommegang beers, which is a wonderful thing.

Tastes amazing.

It lingers in the mouth and tingles in the throat and nose. Stays in your mouth for quite a while after the drink.

Overall, it's goddamned amazing.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 01:21:19 | More by CSFerrier
Photo of dwren89


4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: amber with gold highlights, fluffy cream colored head, some cloudiness

Aroma: fruity and spicy, showcasing belgian yeast character and fruity Maris otter like malt character

Taste: smooth and easy drinking with belgian spicy yeast character and earthy notes mellowing the fruitiness of the malt. Great balance of flavor

Mouthfeel: crisp, tingling and highly carbonated. Very palate cleansing, medium body

Overall: A great belgian style amber that showcases fruity malt character tempered by belgian yeast spicy and earthiness.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 19:33:02 | More by dwren89
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had on draft at Galileos in Boone.

A: Golden-orange with a white head that stayed for the duration of the beer. There was a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Orange is the dominant aroma with a fair amount of pepper and coriander, possibly a few other spices as well as other less prominent citrus notes.

T: Again orange taste along with the spices mentioned above. There was a slight medicinal taste also, although not unpleasant.The alcohol is hidden very well.

F: This beer was very easy to drink. It had the perfect amount of carbonation which complimented both the citrus and the spice notes in the taste and smell. There was a nice zing on the tongue after drinking

O: I really enjoyed this beer It was only a dollar to upgrade from a budlight and worth every penny($4 a pint $14 a pitcher on non special days). This is a perfect end of summer beginning of fall brew, fruity enough to be enjoyed on a hot day but enough spice to remind one that the leaves are changing and the weather is becoming cooler. I wouldn't hesitate to order this again and highly recommend it to others. Plus at 6.5 abv theres enough to give a solid buzz but not so much that it would be unsafe to drive after ordering another.

Serving type: on-tap

09-26-2013 22:09:29 | More by watermelon
Photo of usechopstix4soup

New York

4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first time trying this beer and like many, I am a big fan of Brewery Ommegang so I had high expectations and I must say, I was not met with disappointment.

The beer was poured into a libbey craft pub glass and the first thing I noticed was the amazingly vibrant color. I've had many amber ales in the past but this one was one of the brightest oranges I have ever seen. The head was very thick and lacing was abundant. I could not wait to experience it.

The smell of the beer reminded me of citrus rinds, definitely strong hints of orange and maybe grapefruit. The aroma was very sweet and welcoming. I regret that I did not try this beer during the summer as it would have been the perfect summer drink.

The beer is sweet, but not too sweet, and finishes off with a nice taste of fruit.

The body is perfect, it is not too thick or thin. The drinkability proves very high, I could definitely have one or two more of these.

Overall this beer perfects what it sets out to do. It is one of the best, if not the best, amber ales I have ever tried. Ommegang continues their legacy.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2013 01:45:56 | More by usechopstix4soup
Photo of StoutHunter


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Brewery Ommegang's Rare Vos last month for $3.15 at Boyne Country Provisions. I'm still working my way through the Ommegang beers that I picked up while I was up north and today seems like a good day to give this beer a try, so lets see how it goes. Best by 11/20/13. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- The label looks looks good, I like the fox and bird having a beer together and the purple background makes it stick out a little. It poured a fairly hazy orange/amber color that took on a darker orange hue when held to the light with two and a half fingers worth of off white head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left a little bit of patchy lacing behind. This was a nice looking beer, but I wish the head retention was a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness followed by a pretty big fruit aroma, there's some nice dark fruit aromas coming through, but there's also some cherry, pear, and slight apple like aromas. Up next comes some sweet and caramel malt aromas followed by a little bit of Belgian yeast with cloves seeming to stick out the most. I thought the aroma was pretty nice, but it could have been a little more balanced.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a pretty high amount of medium sweetness followed by all those fruits that I picked up in the aroma, but it's the cherrys and pears that seems to stick out with a little bit of apple in the background. Up next comes the malts that impart a sweet and caramel malt like flavor followed by a medium amount of Belgian yeast with cloves still sticking out the most. On the finish there's pretty much no bitterness with a slight bit or tartness taking it's place with a fruity and Belgian yeast like aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer, but just like the aroma I thought it could be balanced better.

M- Pretty smooth, very crisp, prickly, clean, on the slightly thicker side of being medium bodied with a very high amount of fizzy carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice, but the carbonation was a little out of control.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and an above average example of the style since it's pretty much a straight forward Belgian Pale Ale, but the caramel malts add a little something extra to it and I thought it worked well with this beer. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth and the flavors did a good job at holding my attention, but I don't think I could drink more than one or two of these since I think the carbonation would really start to wear on me. What I like the most about this beer was the fruit profile in the aroma and taste, it was a nice mixture of fruits that worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, I know this style is suppose to have a higher carbonation, but I thought it was a little out of control. I think I would buy this beer again, but not very often and I think it might go well with food and it's not too over priced. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Belgian Pale Ales, even through it's not the truest to style it still has most of the key attributes that define this style. All in all I enjoyed this beer, it wasn't my favorite of the style, but I thought it was pretty nice and a little unique. Good job guys this is a solid easy drinking beer that's pretty close to a Belgian Pale Ale, i'm happy I gave this beer a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 03:48:25 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of scotorum


4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aged bottle, filled 5/17/11. Best By 5/12. Might have affected the review below.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute.

a: Translucent amber formed a tall white head which receded to a surface foam film with a little lacing.

s: Vaguely fruity.

t: A very pleasant slight fruit-tinged malt. Carbonation adds more zing. Dark fruit becomes more prominent as it is consumed and warms. Slight ripe fruit aftertaste on an otherwise clean finish.

m: Medium, good body.

o: A highly drinkable Belgian style amber ale. Liked this better than Hennepin, though it would be interesting to try them side by side. Three Philosophers is still my favorite Ommegang of the four I have tasted so far because of its relative dark maltiness, but Rare Vos would probably be second to that, and the superior warm weather drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2013 05:16:32 | More by scotorum
Photo of barczar


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a fizzy cream head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Slightly tart cherries, pear, and sweet caramel malt form the initial aroma, with Belgian yeast character adding complexity.

Sweet caramel lies at the base of this beer, more candy-like than malty. Buttery toffee segues into lightly sour cherry notes, which dry somewhat quickly in the finish. Somewhat of a vinous character comes to mind. Medicinal phenols emerge.

Body is moderate, with high carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Very different brew. The phenols are somewhat offputting, and the buttery toffee caramel base dominates. The high carbonation robs the mouth of the flavor too early.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 21:13:05 | More by barczar
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,362 ratings.