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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.

2,595 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,595
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 105
Gots: 183 | 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: 2,595 | Reviews: 1,076 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of irishking1977

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a random mixed six pack. I had Rare Vos before, but didn't find it particularly appealing. Revisiting it to see if things have changed.

A: Opaque golden bronze with a moderate white head that leaves a good amount of lacing. It reminds me of Unibroue's Maudite, which should be considered a compliment.

S: Fruit and fruit peel with hints of funky yeast. Kind of mellow.

T: A delicate balance of fruit, especially pear in the finish along with a peppery/spicy background. Some malt background with some floral notes as well. Virtually no bitterness at all. Hops might not have been part of this brew, but even so, this is still a pretty damn good beer.

M: Spritzy and effervescent with good solid moderate carbonation. Maintains its character and complexity as it warms.

D: Rare Vos seems to be a tweener; it could be a session brew, but it does boast an above average ABV at 6.5%. Not to mention, a complex beer is meant to be enjoyed, not drank to the point where the palate (and everything else) is numb.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 23:29:41 | More by irishking1977
Photo of Nightwielder

New York

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was particularly good for a Belgian Dark Ale at a very reasonable price I must say. At 6.5% ABV, the pour on this one was an excellent spectacle with a very frothy head and a medium amber-bodied finish. This ale has kind of a tartness to it, but far from overbearing, and a good compliment to it's natural fruity tones. Despite being a somewhat bitter beer (which follows the trend of most ales), it is quite fruity and the mouthfeel is superb. Most importantly, the taste for the Rare Vos is decidedly above average for a strong amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 07:49:21 | More by Nightwielder
Photo of jwinship83


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with no freshness information drank from my new belgium globe glass.

A- this one pours out a very clear amber colored body with an eggshell colored head that just wont quit. when it finally starts to recede, it leaves behind a heavy wall of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice is that its surprisingly fruity smelling. lots of citrus. its also quite spicy. ginger and orange peel.

T- the taste is also very fruity. lots of orange and tropical fruits like mango. i cant really detect the spice in the taste that i could in the smell. a bit of pepper maybe. yeasty and sweet.

M- light to medium bodied with a high level of carbonation.

D- easy to drink and much different than i was expecting. a rather unique beer that i would like to see more like. and its sessionable to boot. check this one out if you havnt already.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 04:55:12 | More by jwinship83
Photo of MrDanno96


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy amber color with about a finger of foamy head that demonstrates decent retention. Lots of foamy lacing sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: A nice floral aroma along with hints of spice, yeast, pear and apple.

T: Belgian yeast and grain along with apples and pears and a touch of bubblegum, reminiscent of a Heffe Weisse. Very nice.

M: A nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Finishes a little dry, like champagne.

D: I really enjoyed this one. One of Ommegang's better offerings IMO. A great rendition of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 04:43:23 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of AdmiralDiaz


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from 750mL to pint glass

A: Pours a copper body with a large off-white head. Head has low retention for the style.

S: Smells spicy, fruity, and a it of yeast.

T: Taste is about the same as nose; some spices including little bit of clove. Fruits are pretty strong apricot, apple, and a little bit of a banana taste. Mild amount of yeast and no alcohol present.

M&D: Mouthfeel is pretty weak for the style, thin but little carbonation. Drinkability is extremely high, I've never had a beer of this style that's more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 01:58:00 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from 750mL bottle to tulip glass

A - Deep golden amber with lots of bubbles. Has a really nice rich color. Nice sized bubbly head with good lacing.

S - Fruity smell with a hint of apple, almost champagne like. Sniffing this beer wets my mouth.

T - So good it quenches my thirst. Like a fruit and spice medley. Feels like there is a lot going on in there, but each flavor is perfectly matched.

M - Feels great in my mouth. Think cider or champagne, but in beer format. Very subtle bittery aftertaste.

D - Fantastic and easy to drink. The flavor is full and even. Not too strong that you can't enjoy a few.

I've had most of the offerings from Ommegang and their beer has lead me to really dig in and begin my quest in beer appreciation so I can't really say enough good things about their family of beers and this beer is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 00:57:23 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of BehindtheFinBrew


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 23:32:43 | More by BehindtheFinBrew
Photo of Mavajo


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant chestnut brown with a medium slightly off-white head. Unfortunately, no lacing. Other than that, a beautiful looking brew.

Nose is pleasant - some apples and spice; sweet. Taste brings the same - a very smooth and enjoyable taste. Yeast, ester. Although I must say I found the taste very slightly watered down compared to your genuine Belgians. Mouthfeel was medium with moderate carbonation - good mouthfeel.

All in all, a very good imitation of a Belgian Dark, but it is a noticeable step down from the genuine article, in my opinion. Still a very good brew, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 21:37:56 | More by Mavajo
Photo of Pecorasc


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 poured into large tulip.

A- Cloudy deep gold with a big fluffy head. Dissipates to a thin layer of uneven bubbles. Some lacing. I expected a bit more head retention out of this. Lots of sediment even on a smooth pour.

S- Estery, sweet oranges, spicy with minimal hop character. Smells of wheat. Reminds me of warm anise pizzelles.

T- Very juicy. Multiple fruits: oranges, mangos, cherries. Less spice than expected in the aroma.

M- Medium bodied, but foams up in mouth. The high carbonation and foaming gives the impression of a lighter body.

D- At 6.5%, this belgian, like they are intended to be, is very drinkable. The carbonation helps, but the esters may be too much after a few.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 14:51:40 | More by Pecorasc
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass. From a 750ml bottle.

A - Absolute perfect pour on my part. Hehe. The beer is a lacy dark amber color with some nice golden hues and some nice haze that blocks out the light. A solid 1 inch head is present, very dense and tight, receding and leaving a bit of lace. Some yeast sediment cam through, there is plenty of it.

S - Mild clove and some nice peppery spices. Some sweet pear juice as well. Honey and other fruits are in there as well along with the grains. Alcoholic esters pop up as it warms and as I swirl it in the glass.

T - Some sweet and grainy malt pops up first, followed by some sweet clove and then some spices that start curbing the sweet. Flavors are well put together and work well. Very balanced and complex. Some yeast flavor as well with slight phenolic hints in there. Dry finish from the hops.

M - full bodied, nice complexity and very nice balance of flavors with good CO2

D - Refreshing and delicious

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 02:10:19 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of CharlatanSin


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My fourth of fifth time with this beer, but my first with intention to review. Poured from the 750ml corked bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: A lovely amber with a slight red tinge. Hazy, which I love in my beer. It's got a 1.5 finger off-white head that's very smooth, not cratered like the double IPAs I know and love. Simply a gorgeous beer.

Smell: A big whiff of country white bread, with a nice medley of funky spices. A bit of citrus fruit. It's strong and yummy-smelling.

Taste: It's got a definite apple character. It's chock full o' ester and spiciness, with great fruit and floral notes. A bit of bread in there. Maybe a little candy sugar underneath, especially as it warms.

Speaking of which, you should definitely let this beer warm up a bit before you have at it. The flavors are extremely subdued when it's fresh out of the fridge.

Mouthfeel: Big heavy carbonation, which definitely compliments the spiciness. Goes great with spicy food.

Drinkability/Overall: I had no problem finishing the entire 750ml bottle. Most of my friends aren't in love with this beer, but I actually find it my favorite of Ommegang's easy to find stuff. It always has a place in my fridge for semi-special occasions (like Tuesdays).

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 03:15:30 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of Beerenauslese


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber with a moderate head that dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing on the glass.

Smell is mild, some hay, light malt.

Taste is very clean, like a lager, with a bit of citrus.

Mouthfeel is crisp and cleansing with tingly, tight, carbonation.

This is a good alternative beer for a hot summer's day. I am drinking this in December and finding that I want more flavor and substance at the moment.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2009 01:08:55 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of rosmhuire

New York

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 16:50:09 | More by rosmhuire
Photo of cavedave

New York

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A beautifully cloudy pour of golden hue is topped by a thin head of closely knit foam which recedes slowly to a persistent island. A gentle swirl leaves sheets of negative-imagery mountains on the snifter.

The nose is a full bodied aroma of belgiany yeast, light fruits, a hint of alcohol, and gentle notes of spice, sweet grain, and even lighter hints of citrus and bitter.

It has very gentle flavor for such a big beer. There is lots of flavor, but it is gentle. The yeast is less prominent, but it still leads a flavor brigade of pear, gentle spice, and an even gentler herbosity that leads to a juicy finish that is beyond my palate to relay. It is yummy, not too sweet, just as a beer this mild should be.

Mouthfeel is thinner side of medium, viscosity a bit too missing. I love Ommegang, but Rare Vos is the least of their offerings, no where more evidently than in mouthfeel.

Drinkability is o'kay, not as good as many others.

Impression: Not the best of their lot, but a good starting point for someone to get interested in Belgian-style ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 20:16:30 | More by cavedave
Photo of mjaskula

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing from notes.

Served in a pint glass. Pours a hazy golden color with an off white head that thins to a film and leaves some lacing.

Aroma is spicy, slightly sweet and fruity. There is some belgian funkiness in the aroma as well. Flavor is more of the aroma- clean and malty and some wheat like flavors.

Carbonation is high. It is easy drinking and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 01:23:08 | More by mjaskula
Photo of drperm


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3 December 09. 750 mL bottle, poured into my Duvel goblet

Ap: Luxurious thick vanilla foam rests a full inch above a glowy, opaque brew the color of dark unfiltered apple juice.

S: Divine. Fresh bread yeast, gentle spice (coriander, mace, white pepper), pear, apricot, apple, wet moss.

T: Nice. Elusive spices, strong farmy yeast, lots of pear and biscuit. Unexpectedly bone-dry mid palate: which I like, although as it sits and matures in the glass it seems to get sweeter. A hint of mild cherry is in there too, and a lot more barnyard than was in the nose. It has a very strong hard-mineral-water finish. Still, it's not as full-bodied as some in this style, or as the nose might suggest. But, that means I can avail myself to more of the bottle!

M: TONS of spritz up front, but somewhere along the way it poops out.

D: The price is right on this one and it's definitely worthy. Not my favorite Belgian Amber, but not my least favorite, either. This would be a great companion with an assortment of dishes, or good sheep or goat cheese (like that great Dutch Legendairy Goat Gouday). If it goes up in price anytime soon it probably won't be worth it for me, but for now this is a good go-to Belgian-style Amber from this side of the pond.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 01:54:56 | More by drperm
Photo of stephens101


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A huge tan head bellows forth boldly off a medium pour, rising to a good three-fingers, then tapering off slowly, leaving a borken, chunky lace behind. Brew color is amber with some jagged orange hues where the light hits. Big sweet malts and light fruits (grapefruit, grape, orange) float pleasantly to the nose. A little candy sweetness lingers underneath among some slight phenolic activity. Tastes fruity and spicy up front with a bitterness that works in almost perfectly toward the end. A bit of tartness is noticed as well as some taffy. Disparate characteristics blended well to push the taste upwards to perfect, but not quite, as the finish becomes a bit weak. Mouth-feel lies on the full side of medium, and this one goes down a bit dry, with a modicum of alcohol heat touching the back of the throat. Not anything like most "American" ambers, but better.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 23:24:22 | More by stephens101
Photo of donkeyrunner


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rare Vos means "sly fox" in Belgian. Sounds like a sexual innuendo similar to Rusty Trombone or Screaming Seagull. I.e. "had a great roll in hay last night, gave'er the ol' sly fox." To which an appropriate reply could be "you old sly fox you." Endless possibilities.

It's amber. Clear amber with a large, bubbly white head that dissipates quickly and vanishes by mid beer. I see sediment floaties despite my careful pour.

Aroma is spicey, fruity, Belgian yeast, and orange coriander. Taste parallels aroma with fruity, spicey phenols and great toast malt compliment. Effervescent carbonation adds to the impression of a very delicate beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 15:45:57 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of kylejohnson03


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked cage 750 into a goblet.

A: Pours a semi-cloudy, orange-amber. Good two finger head, which reduces down to a thin layer atop the glass. Good lacing left on the sides as I take my first few drinks.

S: Big belgiun style yeast you would expect, dark fruit and malt.

T: Very bready, sweet malts, and some spices give this beer a good character. The sweet fruit flavor sits on my tounge for a minute, but then it's gone just as quickly.

M: Big carbonation, with a light-medium body. The weight goes nicely with the amount of carbonation.

D: A very drinkable beer. I will not have a problem finishing off the bottle, and at 6.5 percent I could easily open another one (if only I had bought an extra!)

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 00:05:08 | More by kylejohnson03
Photo of katan


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml into a pint

A - Pours a gold to golden brown color. A bit hazy, some yeast as well as some strong carbonation. Head formation is strong, a few mm in size. Well retained.

S - A funky sour smell - a an earthy, floral yeast scent dominates the beer. Very belgian funk. Some bready notes as well.

T - Starts off with a dry, lightly sweet bready malt note. Mid-stream gets more bitter without any noticeable hops. Some phenolic tones build towards the end. Finishes with the sour yeasty edge that was detected on the nose. Lots of good funk notes, earthy, tobacco, wild yeast.

M - Moderate beer body, which is highly accentuated by the strong carbonation profile. Certainly a Belgian and/or Ommegang trait. Light oily texture on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. ABV is manageable, but potent. Just a bit filling. The sour notes are good for a single interesting beer, but not perhaps for sessioning.

A solid American/Belgian offering.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 18:30:44 | More by katan
Photo of jlindros


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Love bottle conditioned Belgian, and love that Ommegang and Allagash are really bringing the art to the U.S.

A: Fluffy airy head that disappears quickly. Crystal clear reddish orange brown color, that is until I stir up the yeast and pour that in.

N: Medium malts, crystal malt like, some Belgian yeast and fruity aromas from the yeast, light alcohol, bready almost.

T: Light Belgian like malts and red/amber ale like malt flavors. Light alcohol flavor. Slight Belgian sugar and yeasty fruity flavors.

M: Ridiculous carbonation, pretty light body.

F: Very clean but very lingering light sweetness. A little syrupy. Crisp finish, almost like a good lager or bright amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 16:48:35 | More by jlindros
Photo of tigg924


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, moderate carbonation, orange-red in color, cloudy

Smell: toasted malt and dark fruit--very much the scent I associate with Unibroue

Taste: sweet malt, pear, dark fruit and a bit of hay at the end

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet, smooth, high carbonation

Drinkability: A nice intro beer to this style. I would have this again but am glad I got a smaller single as opposed to a bomber. Decent, not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 14:35:17 | More by tigg924
Photo of champ103


2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber/reddish color. At first a large white head rises to over two fingers. The foam recedes to a ring quickly. Light lace is left.
S: Over ripe, almost spoiled fruits. Some yeast and light funk. An interesting spicy aroma lingers.
T: Again an over ripe fruit flavor. Spice, yeast, and some funk. Lightly tart. Dirty, maybe some diacetyl. Dry and moldy wood. Interesting, but the flavors don't mesh right for me.
M/D: A medium body and crisp carbonation. Very dry. Not hard to sip on, but a one and done for me.

This is interesting, but not for me. Something that is worth a try, but I am not really that into this.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 00:30:46 | More by champ103
Photo of Rayek


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang flute.

A: Cloudy red oak, even with a very careful pour. A large and foamy pale cream head has OK retention and leaves bits of lace.

S: Quite fruity initially, as green grape, pear and even a hint of bubblegum hit right away. Things become a bit spicy after that, with a clove and coriander kick. The aroma finishes up with a mild sourdough scent.

T: Spicy clove and sourdough bread dominate the flavor. There is a distinct fruitiness here that's made up of flavors of pear and grape. Finishes sharp and dry. Alcohol adds a mild warmth at the end.

M: The grainy body has a high level of mouth tingling carbonation.

D: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It's flavor profile reminded me a bit of a dunkelweiss, even though this isn't one. The spicy clove and penetrating carbonation are what did it. Overall, I'm really glad I finally picked this up.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 02:01:47 | More by Rayek
Photo of drawbackwards

New York

4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is "Wow"...I have heard all the hype about this beer and the stellar reviews it gets so I had to try it. I have had Abbey Ale from Ommegang and love it, so I had to try this one. First thing I notice is the pour...It gives an amazing head. You must be careful or a huge head will takeover your glass. The words "slow but vigorous" appear on the bottle. I would aim more for slow and less for vigorous.

The smell is fantastic, mouthfeel is great. Super smooth. This beer is so ridiculously smooth and flavorful that it really is a glorious representation of the style. If you like Hopback (Troegs), you will love this. It doesn't have the hoppiness of the Troegs, but has so much character anyway. You need this...seriously.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2009 02:09:19 | More by drawbackwards
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,595 ratings.