1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,541 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,541
Reviews: 1,072
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 102
Gots: 167 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,541 | Reviews: 1,072 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dfolmste

New York

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

Appearance: Head attacks the glass. I had to pour in two installments as to not overflow. Frothy and bubbly look leaving good lacing. Head appears to be breathe as it shrinks to about an inch. Amber in color, bordering on red.

Smell: Tangy smell of alcohol and malt. Some hops, but the malt and belgian yeast lead the way. Sweet and sour.

Taste: Different than what I was expecting, but then again my experience with belgian styles are limited. I'm guessing that it is the yeast that gives Rare Vos its fruity and smooth taste. The hops serve as a means of balancing out the sweetness of the yeast and malt. A very balanced beer. The one complaint is the taste is rather empty at first, but it grows.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of this beer is great. A little dry and maybe a bit thin, but the aftertaste and multi-layered dimensions of this beer come through after the sip is gone.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable even at 6.5%. You would not even know that its that high if it was not printed on the bottle. The balanced taste and thin/dry body make it a good candidate for having a few.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2009 03:13:09 | More by dfolmste
Photo of tlinner

New York

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Stunning clear amber with a towering fluffy off-white head that lasts a while.

Smell - Spicy Belgian yeast, light fruit: pear and table grapes.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very similar to nose. But the fruit character is darker, like cherries or even plum. Subtle hops, with the yeast leading the way.

Drinkability - Fantastic beer form one of the best breweries in the world, IMHO. A great beer for novices and veterans alike.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 23:23:58 | More by tlinner
Photo of Psilo707


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very golden amber color into the mug and leaves behind a thick frothy head with a bit of scattered lacing. Also there are more bubbles floating up in this brew than in any I have ever seen - nice! The scent is actually not as prominent for me as many other people have stated but maybe my nose is off today. But it is one of slight banana and a little bit of fruity candy in there.

Taste is much lighter than expected but in a positive way. The fruity and high-pitched aftertaste lingers on the tongue for quite a while and it goes down smoothly. Mouthfeel is solid and somewhat creamy. Drinkability is good, I will have no problem finishing this.

Overall a good light belgian ale. A-

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 04:57:34 | More by Psilo707
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 6/16/2007 (750mL bottle):

Pours a cloudy brown colored body, with a small whitish head, fizzy but diminishing very quickly. Very floral light sweet aroma. Sweet fizzy taste, clean aftertaste. Floral taste, some acid. Warming up....a little more even taste, not acidic.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 17:29:45 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of lhaqq


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light copper body with amazing bubbles. More than even a Duvel. A billowy yellowish white head that looks creamier as it settles.
S: Initially orange and banana and spices pretty strong. Then shifts into Belgian yeast and toffee. Also a bit of bubble gum.
T: Tastes a bit like a light dubbel. Less flavor than I was expecting from the smell, but still good. Has more light fruity notes, though, than a dubbel. Less on the orange than the smell and more on a malty banana flavor. Some cloves come out in the flavor, too; now that I've tasted it, it's more apparent in the smell as well.
M: Light but fairly creamy.
D: Will have an easy time putting back the rest of the 750ml.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2009 03:49:23 | More by lhaqq
Photo of cpn920

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy amber golden hue with a thick creamy head that faded to lacing. Smell consisted of banana's and mild clove. Taste was very good and very smooth. Tasted banana with a mildly sweet finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability very high. This beer is really really enjoyable and I'm disappointed that I hadn't tried it sooner.This is one that will be a regular at my house!

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 15:00:46 | More by cpn920
Photo of beeragent


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle.

A - Pours a medium slightly hazy amber, forming a creamy 1 inch head, that fades rather quickly. Light spots of lacing dot the glass.

S - Strong fruity aroma created from the yeast, along with a noticeable hint of alcohol.

T - Sweet fruity taste coats the palate, followed by a nice sweet malt thickness. Spices seem to come out a bit more in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D - Very nice full flavor and smooth finishing beer. Definitely a sessionable ale. The not so high alcohol content allows for a few of these in one night.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 22:53:45 | More by beeragent
Photo of scootny

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful clear copper ale with a thick meringue like head. Retention is impressive and it never completely goes away. Fading to a light foam covering with bits of lace all along the sides. Steady and gentle carbonation gives a pretty look as well as keeping the top covered.

Smell is pale and caramel malts, banana, spices like clove, anise, and light pepper, and light hop florals. There is a back note of sourdough bread and fruitiness from the yeast as well as faint Belgian funk.

Taste is a superb balance of malt at first, followed by a banana led fruitiness finished by clean hops. There is a light toffee like sweetness to the malt profile as well as a healthy spiciness in between the malt and fruits consisting of the clove and white pepper from the nose. Anise tucks in at the back of them. The finish is so clean and dry leaving just enough breadiness and light hop bittering to have you smacking your lips and tounge. There is a hint of mint as I do so. Mmmm.

Feel is medium and tingly from the carbonation. It just stops short of creaminess but gives a smooth swallow that is quenching and refreshing.

Drinkability is definitely a strong suit. The 750 ml bottle used to say this was the session ale from Ommegang and I have to agree. You can drink this one all day and night and never want for anything except snacks and meals .

A great one to keep in the house for everyday enjoyment. Went great with a bowl of smoked bean soup. Four packs of this are going for $9.99 in Manhattan where I work,
( Hennepin too ). At this price how can you loose? One of the greats from Cooperstown

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 20:34:58 | More by scootny
Photo of Spikester


3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a huge white head (first pour) and fair lacings. Aroma is dominated by yeast. Taste is Belgian yeast strain, sweet malts, hint of bitter hops. Has a bit of boiled ham in the aftertaste. Overall an interesting beer that I probably won't try again.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2009 03:42:15 | More by Spikester
Photo of daythree16


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light amber color with nice frothy head.

Smell is very fruity and spicy. Nice Belgian esters. Taste is definitely vinous, with lots of fruitiness, primarily grape coming through. Good mix of spice and fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is good, as I'm having no problem putting the 750 ml bottle away.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2009 08:08:28 | More by daythree16
Photo of philbe311


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -Slightly hazy honey orange color... Huge ever so slightly off-white head comprised of large chunky bubbles with stellar retention... A cyclone of quick paced vigorous carbonation can be seen in the center of glass (tulip)... Redish highlight streaks through out as the yeast sediment slowly works its way tot he bottom of the glass... Lacing clings tot he side of the glass and then slowly retreat...

S - Rich malts... Belgian yeast... White raisins... Mandarin orange... A faint spiciness (perhaps clove with a slight touch of pepper)... Very nice aroma with an elegant complexity...

T - Wow, this is really enjoyable... Follows the nose nicely... Wonderful malty foundation gives way to a world of flavor... Yeast... Grapes... Apple... Pepper... Clove... A bit of sugary candy... Alcohol...

M - A lush creaminess... Slightly chalky finish... Just the faintest amount of yeast and alcohol remain in the back of the mouth for a very pleasant after taste...

D - Ommegang continues to impress... This is another fine offering that will keep me coming back for more... A brewery in NY that continues to churn out wonderful Belgian ales...

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2009 01:24:28 | More by philbe311
Photo of Soozy


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2009 20:54:01 | More by Soozy
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a treat, VOS on tap poured into a rare Vos glass

A: deep amber, slight haed with nice retention, does reduce to a lacing cap

S:spices slight yeast aroma... Clean

T: spice on the front, finishes clean with very slight bitterness

M&d: medium mouthfeel, good carbonation, still not a session beer, but a great example of the style for a reasonable price

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2009 22:28:25 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of zerofear13

New York

3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ommegang has disappointed me in the past with their Hennepin and Witte. I tried this one not on my own accord, but because a friend had brought it for a beer tasting.

I think I might be the only person in the world who has grown tired of that earthy, yeasty, coriander, bread-y taste in so many beers. It overpowers almost everything else. Sure, you can taste the hop and malt background, so you know you're still drinking beer and not tea, but I'm just not a big fan of the flavor - and I think what makes it worse is that SO MANY brews try this formula and they all taste very, very similar.

Overall, Ommegang has disappointed me again. I think I'm going to go a little bit out of my way from now on to avoid Ommegang's brews. I hate to drag down the average of this well-ranked beer, but it's just unoriginal and not at all memorable in a unique way.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 19:07:18 | More by zerofear13
Photo of cleeze


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This my friend is a tasty brew.

it poured a nice amber with a really frothy 2 maybe 3 finger head that stuck around for a quick minute. Also had some great lacing to go a long with it.

Smell was kind of piney. Hops up front. I picked up on the belgian spices as well.

Taste was very crisp with some earthy notes up in the mix as well. What I like most is the balance between the malty goodness and the hops. Great balance.

Fizzy mouthfeel though

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 15:55:14 | More by cleeze
Photo of squilky


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a snifter.

I drank the large 750ml bottle over the course of about 2 hours.

A- The bottle warns to pour the beer gently, but aggresively enough to generate a nice head. It poured a nice amber color with a two finger head that hung around for a good while. I loved opening beers with corks. This one didn't disappoint. It produced a nice loud POP!

S- Piney malts and some citrus notes. I detected some spices, but couldn't identify them individually.

T- This has a very unique flavor. It's rather malty, but there are some unique hops characteristics as well. Not strong IPA hops presence, but a nice amount.

M- Quite fizzy, kind of like champagne.

D- Very drinkable. This stuff is waaay smooth. I really liked this one. It doesn't have a real strong alcohol presence, so it goes down really easy. Reminds me of a mild sherry/brandy.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 02:45:01 | More by squilky
Photo of sonicdescent


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky red/brown with two fingers of stubborn head. very active carbonation.

Spells of piney hops, fruity with pineapple on the lead.

Tastes reminds me of my first blue moon, berry out front with something resembling coconut.

Mouth is medium bodied and medium carbonated.

Pretty good stuff. I don't think I would actively seek this out and it won't make my six pack club, but good no less.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 02:28:18 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of Tone


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

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/2 inch head with decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet earthy malts. There's a lot of hops noticeable. Fits the style, since it has a wide array of possible flavors. Smooth, crisp mouth feel with a high carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt and lots of hops. The bitterness level is strong, but not too overpowering. Overall, another really yummy beer from Ommegang - definitely worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 19:01:18 | More by Tone
Photo of tmoneyba


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

Poured hazy copper with a large frothy off-white head that was fully lasting with good lacing.

Solid yeasty fruit and spice aroma.

Medium body with a smooth texture.

Moderate sour fruit flavor with a smooth tart long finish.

Good drinkable spicy ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 18:11:52 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of smcolw


3.45/5  rDev -15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 22:12:54 | More by smcolw
Photo of popery


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a very nice amber color with good to moderate lacing. I'm always a little bit suspect of small bottles of beers that I almost always see in large bottles, so the small bottle could be the problem here. That might make no sense if I knew a bit more about brewing, but I can only report what I see, and I saw a head dissipate very rapidly. Anyway, the smell is spicy and Belgian. It's a little muted, but there are good notes of dough, coriander, earth and light fruit, maybe apricots. The taste is quite good and a bit of an improvement on the aroma. Some lemon flavor makes itself known, along with more spicing and some background caramel. The feel is sparkly and nice, but it gets a tad sticky in an odd way. The finish is just a bit watery sticky, rather than full sticky if that makes any sense. I keep trying to like Ommegang more, but this one doesn't quite have me on the bandwagon as much as I would like.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 02:49:17 | More by popery
Photo of rhinos00


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

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy copper. Produced a very healthy three fingers width of white head.

S- Combination of spices, malt, and little bits of citrus.

T- Initially a hint of sweetness hits the tongue. As the beer is consumed a pepper, citrus maltiness takes over providing for a nice finish.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation.

D- Very drinkable.

Overall, I'm starting to really like Ommegang's lineup of beers. This is another solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2009 06:09:56 | More by rhinos00
Photo of mtbbaboon


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 750ml bottle in Whole Foods. Pours a lighter shade of amber into my Ommegang glass. Has a real thick head that hangs around for a while before settling into a thinner ring. Leaves a small amount of lacing. Smells of fruit (orange?), spice and light malt. I can also smell a bit of the alcohol. It's got a nice spicy taste to it, with a hint of sweet malt. Not a whole lot of bitternes to this one. It's crisp and dry. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Rather fizzy, but easy to drink. I will most certainly buy another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 21:36:53 | More by mtbbaboon
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Murky orangish brown. Huge 4 finger or more tan head with great retention. Falls to a persistent cap. Great lacing.

S - Great fruity aroma; plums, raisins, and figs come to mind. A moderate sourish smell pulls through also alongside a big caramel presence. Blending with the sourness is an interesting spice component; somewhat grassy and a little chive-like.

T - Early palate is very spritzy and flavors are scarce. There's a hint of caramel mixed with a moderate phenolic component. Pepper is detectable with a touch of alcohol but overall I'm having a hard time picking this quick flavor apart. As the carbonation subsides, mid palate is full of the overripe fruit from the nose. Loads of plum and raisin, but the sweetness is extremely muted. Instead these flavors come off with a sour edge. Some sweetness hangs around the edges but by late palate a moderate bitterness is kicking with some roasted malt undertones and earthy flavors.

M - Carbonation is on the low end of high with a sturdy medium body. I don't much like the huge carbonation and the taste suffers because of it.

D - A good beer that I'm glad to have finally tried. I certainly would've liked this better with a softer carbonation and perhaps a touch more sweetness, but it's still an easy drinking and pleasant offering from Ommegang.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 07:50:01 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of jpiper


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4. A nice orange-amber color with a thick white head which loosely laces on the glass.

3.5. Fruity nose: oranges, lemons; with a musty maltiness. Hints of caramel and nuts.

3.5. Thin and fruity: a mild version of the smell, but with more malt. The yeast also comes through with tastes reminiscient of a sweet breakfast bread - no, fruitcake - on the finish. There is a spice layer in this beer as well. Enough hops to balance and carry a little bitterness on the finish. Reasonably well balanced for a US Belgian style with acidity, sweetness, yeasty profile, and hop bitterness.

4. A nice semi-dry finish. Pretty clean, well carbonated.

4. This is very easy drinking and would make a decent session beer. The medium body makes it easy going down. It gets better the further I get into the glass.

A reasonably good Belgian-style from Ommegang. Not a disappointment. But this won't be a beer I'll crave.


Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 00:50:06 | More by jpiper
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,541 ratings.