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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,541 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
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Ratings: 2,541 | Reviews: 1,072 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DefenCorps


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up a while back. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice

A: Gorgeous amber with a beautiful off-white head. Great retention, gorgeous carbonation.

S: Fruity sweetness with a hint of peaches and plums.Doughy and yeasty. Hint of sugary sweetness. Mild spice with white pepper. Delicious

T: Starts off with a complex spice bouquet with cinnamon, white pepper, and a strong clove note before a hint of sweetness comes through with some mild fruit. Finishes dry and mildly spicy

M: Light without being watery, enough carbonation to feel soft and not fizzy, drying and spicy on the finish in a very nuanced way - perfect

D: Can't believe I've waited so long to try this beer. I'm definitely grabbing more and soon

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 18:05:44 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of jisom123


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

This Sly fox is worth the money. Deep Amber color. Not the Best Ommegang offering, but still very good. Good head that dissipates after 2 minutes. Goes down smooth. Slightly more carbonated than I expected.
Cork in the top, like all Ommegang beers.
Clean and fresh enough to drink more than one in a sitting if you are up for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 03:32:39 | More by jisom123
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a thick creme head. Doughy, inky, yeasty nose. Flavor is smooth. High amounts of dough. Lots of it. Minor spicy. More minor funk. Some citrus fruits are there too. It's smooth and well done. Feel has a biting carbonation and the liquid is good. Very easy to drink. A good Belgian style ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2008 05:19:39 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of diamondc


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

This is the first time a cork popped out of my grip. Usually I'm really careful about that.

The pour was fantastic .. the head was unusually alive with peaks and valleys of foam. I'm really impressed. Looked like the inside of sourdough bread.

The smell was very hefeweizen-like. Banana, cloves, a big orange aroma. Some oatmeal cookies and vanilla scents come out when warmed up.

The taste was very much like a fruity English ESB ale. Very big on banana & cloves mixed with some mangos. The spicey coriander comes out at the end with a mild bitterness to round things off. Unibroue's Maudite comes to mind.

The 'mouthfeel' is about the only thing that's lacking in this beer. I felt the flavors did not linger that long on my tongue. The bitterness was maybe too drying.

This beer went great with some cold pizza. Nothing extradonary, but a very quaffable & affordable Belgian style brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2008 06:32:51 | More by diamondc
Photo of clayrock81


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

Poured a orangish, ruby tinted body with minimal head but left it there because of good carbonation. A simplistic but good, strong swwet malt base smell with some citric notes, mostly orange peel, and some spices (clove). Smooth and medium-bodied, this beer has a crisp fruit taste that is spicy, yet also contains a good amount of sweetness to it and was slighty chewey/doughey. A nutty, dry backbite complements the beer as it goes down and this is a nice Belgian that I could relax with all day while watching college football (which I am doing now).

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 17:45:01 | More by clayrock81
Photo of dstc


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

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a nice big foamy white head. Head falls to small head that stays throughout glass with nice but minimal lacing.

Definite fruit in the nose with a spicy sweetness to it.

Sweet fruit taste. Subtle alcohol and nice maltiness to it.

Light to medium in the mouth.

East drinking beer, much enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2008 15:54:15 | More by dstc
Photo of ectomorph


4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1PT9.4FL OZ bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Clear deep amber in color, typical huge Belgian head that slowly clumps.

S - Mellow fruit (figs/raisins) and spice with a hint of alcohol warmth.

T - Dry fruit and spice is balanced with the dry finish. Alcohol while not overly high is completely masked.

M - Not quite the full body I was hoping for but otherwise nice.

D - Fairly high. A nice one to bring to dinner with friends and family.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2008 22:59:15 | More by ectomorph
Photo of changeup45


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very easy drinking beer. Pours a light amber color with a generous off-white head and a bit of lacing. It really does have a great look to it. Aroma was faint but pleasant, subtle hops, malts with a sweet spiciness to it. There's not a ton of flavor but it's good for the summer. Somewhat spicy, with floral notes, sugar, a mild bitter hop bite and some yeast. Very smooth and a pretty good mix of flavors.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 20:28:06 | More by changeup45
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Amber body with a rapidly diminishing off-white head. A small cap is replenished by a steady stream of bubbles. Grainy, sweet fruity aroma. Fruity, spicy yeast is clearly present in the flavour, along with some bready malts. Seemed quite aggressively carbonated, and along with the yeast profile, it reminded me somewhat of Unibroue.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2008 16:15:15 | More by bobsy
Photo of thekevlarkid


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

Clingy tan head with delicate bubbles. Great retention and good lacing. Orange or amber color like a Midwest sunset. Aroma of sweets fruits and rich soil. Great flavors displaying much depth like an aged wine. Tropical fruits and exotic spices. Cloves, mango, white pepper, fermented grapes. Light carbonation, dry finish with a crisp nip. Velvety smooth and the sweet character does not cloy the intriguing flavors. Clearly a quality brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 14:42:00 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Reagan1984


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

I had this on tap in Cooperstown, NY moments before visiting Brewery Ommegang.

The beer came in the specific Rare Vos glass that Brewery Ommegang sells. It came with a thin but substantial head. Color was bright and deep amber with loads or red highlights. Slight Haze with some visible carbonation. Very Nice looking beer. Little lacing remained behind.

There was a light malt aroma along with some sweet fruitiness.
Aroma bit grainy as well

Taste was much lighter than I had thought.

Very interesting flavor.
I can taste the caramel malt of amber, but its all behind the Belgian yeast flavor. Slight white pepper, slight coriander. Hop bitterness is subtle at the end and lingers slightly. I do get a bread like sensation which plays nicely with the hop linger. Some real fruitiness here, but not really sweet at all.

Mouth feel was light to medium and I found this to be extremely drinkable.

I really enjoyed this beer.

(Did have another later with dinner.)

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2008 13:52:44 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of boralyl


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

A - Pours one finger of frothy head that dissipates quickly with no noticeable lacing. It has a clear amber appearance with lots of carbonation bubbles throughout.

S - A fruity smell, can make out apricots, banana and some toasted malts.

M - A lighter bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation. Has a smoother feeling to it.

T - The taste opens up with a mix of fruits including banana and lemon. It closes with a clove spiciness similar to a hefeweizen that balances the fruit flavors.

A good attempt by an American brewery at a Belgian style. They succeed very well in re-creating the style, I'd reccomend it.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 02:19:46 | More by boralyl
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

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

On tap at Tyler's in Durham:

Draft arrives in its own snazzy gold-rimmed tumbler, sporting a clear amber body with fine-bubbled rivulets of active carbonation. A solid cap of ivory foam retains at a creamy sheet, leaving a bit of coarse, webby lacing (briefly) on the glass.

Smell is sweet and malty with a fruity note.

Taste is sweet and pale-malty with plenty of yeast and spiciness. A tangy, juicy note rises as the drink warms a bit, along with a silky touch of banana.

Medium in body and slick with fine, subtle carbonation that works very well to lighten and freshen Rare Vos. Superb drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2008 01:44:18 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber in color with reddish hues. An impressive two inch head forms on the pour and manages to stick around for awhile. Smell is yeasty, bready and a bit musty. Taste is more of they yeasty and bready experience, but there's a slight metallic flavor as well. Not sure where that is coming from. Very highly carbonated. I'll let this one sit for awhile and warm up, hopefully the carbonation will die down a bit. Decent beer, but not overly complex by any means.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 00:36:38 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of kinger


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

This came across as a nice example of a Belgium Amber, even though I'm relatively new to the style this is a solid beer. Pour was an intense copper with abundant head and lacing, both of which lasted for the entire experience. Constant carbonation is visible. The aroma came across similar to other Belgian styles that I have had, in fact it smelled similar to a saison. I believe it is the yeast that produces this unique aroma and flavor. Somewhat spicy and hoppy, there was a definite presence of sweet malts, perhaps a touch of caramel. The flavor is good although a bit weak in my opinion when compared to the aroma. Malty with nice overtones of spices and fruits, there is a well deserved hop finish in the flavor that is especially nice. Tasty and complex a truly enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 12:31:47 | More by kinger
Photo of Slynger


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rare Vos pours a hazy deep sunny-orange color with an ecru colored, big, bursting lid of Belgianesque fluffy fineness.

Nose is sweetly and tartly fruity with red apples and apricots, solidly yeasty with clove spiciness.

Medium bodied and super soft with lots of pillowy Belgian style carb. Tastes like it smells, little bit sweet and pleasantly tart fruits of above with lots of yeast, some light clove spiciness, and light earthy bitterness.

This is a damn good beer that I am downing with supreme please. Quite tasty, though not super complex, but the carbonation/feel rivals Belgian productions.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 05:49:51 | More by Slynger
Photo of Stonebreaker


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with a weizen like head. Sticks around.

Smell: That familiar Belgian aroma, only a little faint.

Taste: My first beer of the style but a definite let down, I don't think I like the Ommegang abbey ale or this one as much as other Belgians because they just aren't sweet enough for my taste. The flavor is malts and Belgian yeast produced esters, lightly sweet, more bitter than I would expect. Less flavorful than the Belgian Strong Dark ale, to be expected I suppose.

Mouthfeel: OK

Drinkability: Had the dunkelweizen at Piece brewpub again last night. That was far superior to this one, on the drinkability scale. Good, but I'd take the Hennepin over this one any day.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 01:36:34 | More by Stonebreaker
Photo of jdoncbus


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

12 oz bottle poured into Piraat Tulip. Amber color, beige-one finger head consisting of small bubbles, active carbonation, with lacing that falls apart quickly.

Aroma is banana bread, walnut, sweet yeast, and caramel-toasty malt. Can also make out notes of pear, pepper, & berry.

The crispness of the beverage comes forth initially, where upon the palate tastes sour raisin, sweet yeast, grass, lemon, & tootsie roll malt. The mouth is left dry and tart with a slight boozy, burn.

An enjoyable nightcap to 800 miles of driving over a twelve hour span. Ommegang continues to please.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2008 05:20:19 | More by jdoncbus
Photo of Vixie


3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance was nice, poured a good solid two finger head. It had a very deep copper color, was a bit cloudy, but I liked the look of it.

Smell at first reminded me of bread, then the fruit came in. To me it smelled most of bananas, the overall effect was of banana bread.

Taste at first was very subtle, seemed to get sharper as it warmed. Definitely a mix of fruity and spicy, hard to put my figner on any one distinct flavor. Bit of cloves mixed in for sure, overall fairly well balanced.

Mouthfeel was nothing that stood out as being outstanding, but not bad either.

Drinkability wasn't bad, I do suggest letting this one warm slightly to bring our more of the flavors. Not as complex or as strong as other beers of this type I've had, but has enough going for it to make it a nice beer. Probably wouldn't go out of my way for it, but if offered it, would gladly drink more.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 17:24:34 | More by Vixie
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

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

Appearance: Poured from the 750mL bottle into a large snifter. The beer is a brown color at first glance, but when held to light it reveals a cloudy reddish orange color. Head is 3 and a half fingers thick, slightly off-white, and with excellent retention.

Smell: Light fruits, but not hoppy - more like sweet - including green apple, tangerine, and pear. Somewhat yeasty as well with some light sugars detectable in the mix.

Taste: This reminds me somewhat of a Belgian dubbel, with many of the fruity, brown sugary characteristics of the style. Maltiness comes in the form of biscuits, but blended, much like a Fig Newton. Sweet, but in no way cloying, and nicely balanced throughout. Midpalate in nicely spicy with cinnamon and clove. Finishes spiced again with more fruit notes. A good interpretation of a Belgian style by an American brewery. Actually tastes Belgian. Refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 06:40:54 | More by BucBasil
Photo of Nipitato


4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Amber hue topped with a thin though very thick, moussy head. Very cloudy and turbid.

S: Grainy malt pils base is good Clove and spice (coriander among others) are readily noticeable. Fruity citrus aromas are also detectable. A very nice balanced aroma.

T: Yeasty and malty/grainy. Some citrus fruit esters but they take a second seat to spicy and clove like flavors. Good subtle bitter finish that is just slightly sour.

MF: A nice creamy mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish.

D, notes:This beer has great drinkability. Very tasty and well balanced. Can Ommegang do no wrong?

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2008 16:42:17 | More by Nipitato
Photo of FSUmac


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet....

Appearance: Pours a nice deep reddish brown with a 1.5 finger head. Nice retention.

Smell: Yeasty, malty. I get a hint of fruit (plum, cherries).

Taste: Not what I was expecting based on the smell. Very bready and spicy at first. I can taste the sweetness of the malt all over the tongue. Very dry finish with a sour, but pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Not a bad beer at all and definitely unique in my beer experience. Not something I would drink 6 of, but I do think one after dinner would be quite nice. The alcohol is very well hidden. Very good Ommegang!

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2008 02:35:56 | More by FSUmac
Photo of Pencible


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a slightly hazy bronze with lots of tan head. It smelled like citrus and wild floral hops with wild Belgian yeast, and no noticeable malt. It tasted very potent, more sweet than bitter, like earthy wheat mixed with wild floral hops, light honey malt, and some mulled spices. It was thick with some carbonation, and had a smooth bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a very clean and well constructed beer, that wasn't overpowering in its Belgian flavoring. I definitely enjoyed this.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2008 01:43:19 | More by Pencible
Photo of CHADMC3


4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper with lively carbonation bubbles and an abundant white head giving way to a dense lacing.

Sweet citrus aroma with yeasty bread quality. Further inspection brings out orange zest and other lighter fruits. Spice is mild in the aroma and tough to specifically identify.

Excellent spiced yeast flavor and again sweet citrus flavors with hints of apple. Spices likely include coriander and other peppery qualities. Perhaps a very mild hop presence at the finish.

The spice provides the perfect bite to offset the sweet characteristics of this beer to the extent it is apparent on the palate. Generous carbonation, but lighter bodied.

Rare Vos is a treat to the palate and a beer I could enjoy for a while with a few friends. There are numerous flavors and qualities that leave you seeking another sip to find more to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 03:20:09 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of phantomwyse


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nectarine orange color, lathery head, trails of carbonation weaving up like smoke from the bottom.

S: Sweet, fruit preserves. Dark grapes, dry hay-like, yeast.

T: Dried fruits, apricot and plum, old grass, fermented grapes, flat bread.

M: Medium/light. Tight carbonation, somewhat oily and then fades to dry and tart.

D: The big bottle will do me.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 16:50:09 | More by phantomwyse
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,541 ratings.