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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,713 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,713
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 120
Gots: 225 | 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
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Ratings: 2,713 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RashyGrillCook
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

RashyGrillCook, May 03, 2011
Photo of Mao
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great bear to share with your friends in summer time. The taste is so refreshing. The beautiful color and aroma of this bear are extraordinary delectable with any kind of food. The Rare vos flavor is exceptional, you can feel many sensation in one time.

Mao, May 01, 2011
Photo of rudzud
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally picked up this offering from Julio's. the 12 ounce bottle was poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep clear amber hue with tiny suspended particles adrift with a nice dense one finger white head atop the brew that never truely faded, just became a nice snowy blanket.

S - Sweet malts with pretty much no hop aroma at all. Some nice belgian yeast and funk though.

T - Similar to the nose just with more belgian yeast/spices and funk. Nice malt sweetness too.

M - Really nice mouthfeel. Just enough carbonation to keep this from falling flat.

O - This is a nice belgian dark ale. Really dig this offering from Ommegang. Smell didnt really blow me away but alot of the other stuff did.

rudzud, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

428th review on BA
Bottle to NB Globe
750 ML C/C

App- Hazy dark orange with a puffy two finger head. A lot of scattered cling.

Smell- A little bit of a mixture, yeasty, ripe citrus, some hops, some malts and a tad bit of an earthy note.

Taste- The yeast shines through with citrus notes and tastes that follow. A very crisp and refreshing taste. Not heavy and well balanced.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a high carbonation level. Light, crisp, clean and refreshing.

Drink- A very good beer. I've become a big fan of Ommegang lately. Well crafted and tasty. I just got back from a run and would like to have this after all my runs.

FosterJM, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Kromes
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy gold with a thick white head.

S: Nice belgian yeast aroma. Malt, alcohol, spice, citrus and a little funk.

T: The initial taste is a strong alcohol and belgian yeast flavor. Then there is a peppery citrus fruitiness that kicks in and rounds out in an alcohol warmth with some bready aftertastes.

M: High carbonation and lighter body. Suits this beer.

O: Very good beer. Looks great, aroma coming of the beer is very nice, very good flavors....definitley a high quality beer.

Kromes, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of wampahoofus
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

wampahoofus, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of busterthecat
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into 2 wine glasses. bottled 11/2010.

A- Pours a nice Amber hue with a big off-white foamy head. The head lingers for a white. Lots of nice bubbles from carb.

S- Nice bready yeast, coves, spice, some candy sugar sweetness, figs. Really nice smelling, a med-strong aroma.

T- Upfront there is spice, citrus zest & yeast. Similar to smell but lighter then it would indicate. good.

M- Slightly watery for the flavors. Sits nice on palate, medium bodied. Perhaps on the lighter side for this style but quite nice. Lingers well however gently.

O- Very drinkable. I wish I had the whole bottle to self. Refreshing and enjoyable. Great for ~$9.

busterthecat, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of sdsurfer217
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip glass

Appearance: Light amber colored, slightly hazy, finger and half of cream colored head. Lots of carbonation off the bottom

Aroma: Spicy aroma, little bit of banana and orange.

Taste: Bready characteristic, with banana flavors. Little bit of pepper on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation interrupts most of the flavors making the beer feel rather thin.

Overall: Decent beer, but the carbonation kind of ruins it. Aromas are good as well as the lingering flavors, but when it's on my tongue it just doesn't hold up. I would like to try this on tap or 750ml to see if it's as "gas-y" as in the 12oz

sdsurfer217, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of muletrane
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy amber with lots of bubbles. 2 fingers of off white bubbly head. Dissapates quickly with no lace.

S: Mostly spicy, bready and yeasty with a touch of malt.

T: Lots of spiciness up front. Slightly sweet with some bready notes. Dry, crisp, slightly tart finish.

M: Soft, creamy, bubbly mouthfeel. High carbonation. Medium body.

muletrane, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 33 cL Rare Vos glass at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: Hazy, medium amber color with a two-finger head of creamy off-white foam that leaves a great deal of sticky lace on the glass. Chilled haze limits visibility of fine carbonation.

S: Toasty, wheat crackers, a bit of buttery, dark bread and loads of fruity esters. Throws scents of plum, raisin, banana, clove and citrus. Has a waft of that gummy, peppery Belgian yeast and sugar too.

T: Excellent, sweet fruity malt profile up front with lots of apple, citrus and plum flavors to go with a toffee-like malt bittersweetness. Light, herbal, grassy hops come through mid-palate but only lift the sweetness off the palate and washes down fruity, herbal and slightly spicy with a hint of phenol alcohol.

M: Medium-bodied, sturdy, slightly creamy at first but really quite light and quaffable to finish.

O: One of the lightest categorical Belgian dark ales I've ever had. The light malts and fruitiness pair really nicely with cheddar and blackened chicken. It's bright and refreshing enough on it's own as well, carrying satisfying bittersweet malts and fruity esters.

Gambrinus1184, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of BelgiumBill
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy, translucent golden amber color gave a substantial off-white frothy head that lasted for some time and produced decent lacing.

The first smell was on the sweet vanilla, creme brulee side but didn't get that smell after a few minutes. Maybe some allspice, or clove faintly.

Medium bodied with tons of carbonation release scrubbing the palate, almost too much. Nice complex flavors similar to the smell. Very drinkable and good but not incredible.

BelgiumBill, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of Hoptometrist
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into shaker glass at Bac Asian Bistro

A-Pours a very clear light amber color with two finger white sudsy head. High carbonation

S-Bubblegum, yeast, and tropical fruit

T- Almost identical to the aroma

M-Dry and crisp with high carbonation that fizzes on the tongue

O-This is a a highly drinkable belgian-style beer with nice fruity yeasty flavors and a great high carbonated champagne-like mouthfeel.

Hoptometrist, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Hazy orange colour with a huge size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. I can't really tell how much carbonation there is due to the haziness and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, bananas, cloves, grains, cherries

Taste & Mouth - There is a high level of carbonation and the beer feels lively and light on the tongue. There is a quite a bit of a cherry sweetness/tartness mixed with cloves and light bananas. There are also some grain and malt flavours. The beer finishes with tart cherry and clove aftertaste.

Overall - I have yet to be disappointed with this brewery. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit and it would work really well during the warmer weather as a refreshing beer.

spinrsx, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of therica
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= cloudy light copper with large active yellow-white head, large bubbles clinging to the side of the glass, plentiful lacing, rimming and pooling. Exceptional.

S= a good bold nose of spiced raisin akin to a fruitcake, yielding to bold complex malts and some hops florals. Nutty notes.

T= very nice. Raisin and spices and thick malts, tangy and tart with very light honey hidden behind some grassy notes and hops florals. Dry in the finish.

M= dry, tangy, minimally sour.

O= overall a very solid experience, the sourness might catch up with one's gut after a few. Probably good with burgers, roasted red meats, maybe bold tomato pasta, or even to counterbalance some fresh sweet fruits ie banana, mango et al.

therica, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of foogerd
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light copper/orange colored body, with a nice thick white head.

S- Yeasty fruity smell, translates into a smashed banana aroma. Lightly spiced, some breads.

T- Very tasty belgian styled brew lots of yeast and spice, even a light bitter hop presence which help buttress the malty yeasty domination.

M- Stinging carbonation, foamy and rich.

O- A great take on a Belgian Dark Ale, but it still aint a belgian dont fool yourself.

foogerd, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of ryantaussig
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks good and smells good. Lots of spice comes through in the nose, especially coriander. That same spice is huge in the flavor and really gives this one it's characteristic identity. I really like this beer. The feel is alright, a bit aggressive on the carbonation, I'd like it to be smoother. Overall, a good choice on a night out.

ryantaussig, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Solid amber color with a explosive two inches of foam. Impressive.

S - Slight yeast and sour funk with a touch of caramel and sour apple.

T - Impressed with the great hop finish in this one! Notes of yeast, sour apple funk, and a nice bit of spice.

M - Light to medium. Pretty easy drinking.

Overall its a very solid Belgium amber ale with a nice bit of funk and more hops than I have in most Belgium ales. Very glad to find this in a 12oz cheaper version. Great brew.

DrDemento456, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Geuzedad
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a tulip. Poured a hazy dark amber with a thick creamy 2 finger head and plenty of lacing that really stuck to the glass.

Smell was that of yeast,fruit,spice and hops.

Taste was really there. Notes of spice and fruit really start it off followed by yeast and a spicy hop finish.

Mouthfeel was medium with moderate carbonation which left a zing at the finish.

This is one of the best Belgian styles from an American brewery I have ever tasted. Ommegang is spot on with this one. This is going to be a regular in my cellar. I cant wait till it warms up as this will be a great summer session beer.

Geuzedad, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of chiccabeer
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a milky amber appearance that has the perfect amount of head when poured into a glass. It smells sweet, fruity, and malty. The taste is very smooth with a lot of flavor. I taste apple and a light sweetness which is not overpowering. The after taste is very is light with a a hint of fruit making you want more. This beer would be good for any occasion, but tastes more like a summer beer. Cheers.

chiccabeer, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: westmalle chalice, medium amber in color, topped with a light head that shows low retention

s: pale belgian malt structure with a light dose of caramelized sugar, yeast and green banana, assorted spice, pineapple, pear, grassy hop aromas, great layering of fruit and spice on the nose

m: carbonation lively, medium-high and lightly abrasive

t: light belgian malts with a fruit sugar sweetness and subtle presence of lightly toasted sugar, pear, apple, yeasty spice, grassy hop flavor and a cleansing bitterness in the crisp finish

d: drinks very well, loads of subtle character and balance in keeping with the belgian tradition

single from WF Arlington

blackie, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance; hazy yellow-brown. Thick and creamy white head. Great retention, with sparce, yet delicate lacing.

smell; hints of spicy hops and fermented plums. Some yeasty notes that blend nicely with honey coated oats.

taste; upfront, very fresh water and yeast. Some very spicy flavors, almost like rye. Finishes with rich cereal grain sweetness. A hint of rustic sourness in there as well.

mouthfeel; very sticky and slick. Froathy and creamy body. The slightest bit of sourness, leaves a mild tart puckering feel in the mouth.

drinkability; a smooth drink, well balanced and pleasant. Drink and enjoy!

Sachsenfreude, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Drank this out of a snifter at cellar temp.

A: Expected, hoped for and received a huge pillowy head. Color is textbook amber. Leaves a sheet of massive lacing.

S: Soft Belgian yeast, caramel and spice! Palette isn't good enough to pick the spices out individually but orange peel is pretty easy to notice.

T: A nice fruitiness from the yeast (my favorite part), orange peel, grains of paradise. Not much of the caramel that I smelled.

M: A little bit thin on the mouthfeel but there is some burn from the alcohol and spices.

D: I'll reserve this one for the warmer weather when I'm looking for a brew with this much spice presence but is easy to drink and refreshing. Would probably be a great transition beer for a Blue Moon fan.

mjtiernan, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of legatovibrato24
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy amber color, with a head that lingers into next week. Just a bit darker than the amber that dinosaur DNA was recovered from in Jurassic Park.

There is a slight spice apparent in the smell, and some sweetness. Not the sugary sweet but the fruity sweet.

The taste of this beer does bear some of the typical spiciness that is in so many Belgian style ales. This one is well balanced however. It is not off the deep end with spicy, it's just a subtle note that occasionally peeks out over the yeasty, bready flavors that are more apparent.

The carbonation tends to stand out with a bit more bite than most other Belgian styles I've had. By the end of the glass, I was either used to it or it gassed off, making the last few sips very enjoyable.

This is a very drinkable belgian style ale and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the style.

legatovibrato24, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of ghetto90007
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

ghetto90007, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer though I guess that ambers and browns aren't really my favorite beers. The nose on this one was a bit weak, and somewhat boozy, though there was some nice malty tones to it. Flavor follows with a nice roasty, toasty, bready, and cracker-y malt profile. I'm not really getting the fruits that others are talking about, but there is a fair amount of yeast notes to it too. Overall, not a bad beer by Ommegang. Pretty drinkable with some pleasant flavors.

LordAdmNelson, Mar 03, 2011
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,713 ratings.