Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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Rare Vos (Amber Ale)Rare Vos (Amber Ale)

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2,881 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,881
Reviews: 1,087
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 126
Gots: 288 | 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: 2,881 | Reviews: 1,087 | Display Reviews Only:
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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of THECPJ
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: murky brown in color with a 1 finger off white head.

Smell: malts with a slight sourness, dark fruits

Taste: Belgian yeast, malts, dark fruits,

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation, smooth, medium body

Drinkability: highly drinkable actually enjoyed this with dinner.



Photo of emsroth
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into duvel tulip

App: Dark gold, almost amber, with hues of orange. Frothy off-white head.

Smell: Wonderfully fruity apple and lemon with an herbal hop finish. Noticeable yeasty funk

Taste: Starts strongly fruity with some lemon, fades into the yeasty funk I love about this beer. As it warms, flavors of almond and maraschino cherries develop. Strong herbal hop presence in the end. Finishes a bit husky with a hint of raw, yeasty dough. Yum!

Medium to full body from the substantial carbonation.

A wonderful treat that is surprisingly even better on tap.

Photo of KajII
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

The pour was a hazy dark amber with a large (2-3 finger) off-white creamy head that was mostly lasting and had good lacing.

The aroma was of straw malts, citrus hops and an earthy Belgian yeast with notes of banana, caramel, coriander and dark fruit (raisons and prunes).

The taste was lightly bitter with a hint of fruit and spices in the beginning with the finish being a tad bitter with a slight sweet malty flavor and a touch of caramel, maybe honey and very light citrus peel bitterness at the end. Flavor lasted an average time with a lightly sweet fruitiness pretty much left to lying on the taste buds after all else faded away.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and creamy in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was exquisitely tasty and quite well balanced, but everything this brewer puts out seems to be that way...


Photo of grub
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this one as a bonus in a recent trade with jlindros. thanks jared!

330ml bottle. sampled feb 27/2011.

pours deep orange with a bit of haze. a cap of fine white head forms, dropping quickly and leaving a bit of spotty lace as it falls.

aroma is good. caramel and a bit of butterscotch toffee. light belgian yeasty spice. bit of light citrus. light alcohol. bit of floral character. white bread and a bit of cracker.

taste is nice. herbal and earthy and a touch floral. bit of buttery toffee. belgian yeasty spice. hint of citrus. white bread and cracker. low bitterness level. bit of alcohol. faint dark fruit - date and a bit of raisin.

mouthfeel is good. fairly light body with a dry finish. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. pretty well balanced. seems to lay somewhere between a BPA and a BDA, borrowing traits from each.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the second beer I had from tis brewery. Yesterday I reviewed their "three philosophers" brew. Great stuff!
" rare VOS" pours a rich deeper gold and creates a nice tall white head.
The smell is very fruity and hints a freshness you would like in a beer in a hot summer. Very inviting.
The taste up front is a grainy fruity mix, maybe some apple, hint of orange, being checked by mild hops in the middle and a very interesting earthy finish.
Very nice mouthfeel and the lightness of body in this beer invites for more, very drinkable.

Photo of afinepilsner
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked brown bottle
6.5% abv

Rare Vos was amber in color and hazy. It had a nice off-white head with good retention and lacing. The smell was fruity yeast and malt aromas. The taste was fruity and well with some mild pepper and spices. The finish was dry and fruity. The mouthfeel was just above average with a thin body and medium-high carbonation. Drinkability was also above average. This is a fairly good beer, but needs more body in my opinion.

Photo of ktrillionaire
1.63/5  rDev -60%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A - Pours a tawny amber hue with wispy white head that deposits a surprising volume of chiffon lace sheeting.

S - This smells suspicious at best, horrendous at worst; the nose seems to offer an impression of cheap jasmine fragrance atomized in an attempt to thwart rancid foot and body odor. No thanks.

T - Atop of the foul descriptors that construct the quantification of this brew's nose, just add hints of Raid bug spray and there you'll have it.

M - The feel is bad, but only because the experience of drinking this beer just feels so bad. Insert sad frog and snarky text line, that will suffice to define this brew.

D - I think this is so bad that it takes on comic (or tragic) proportions. Is this for real?

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,881 ratings.