1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,732 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,732
Reviews: 1,079
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 120
Gots: 235 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,732 | Reviews: 1,079 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a light orange/amber color with a thick fizzy two finger head that quickly dies down to a small blanket on top of the beer. No lacing is left on my glass as I drink the beer. This one is appetizing looking but doesn't have the lacing or head the style calls for. Smells of belgian yeast, belgian spices, malts and a bit of alcohol and maybe some citrus. I find the smell kind of weak and a bit overpowered by the yeast, it does however adhere to it's style. Taste is very similar to the smell but I feel like there is a better balance, belgian yeast and spices with some malts and citrus, not much hop presence if any. Mouthfeel is a nice creamy and medium body, has a lot of carbonation (a tiny bit too much for my liking), alcohol warming was not bad at first but took over toward the end of the beer and a nice thick coating on the mouth. All in all this beer is pretty drinkable, it has a great taste but the alcohol and spicyness might take over after a few, the price was not that bad either. I feel like this is a great example of a Belgian Dark Ale's taste but the weak smell and appearance keep it from being a great overall Belgian Dark, I would probably buy this one again as a solid Belgian Dark.

cbutova, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of mikel52588
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a beautiful dark amber hue, about a 2 finger head that dissipates quickly, lots of carbonation

Smell: its pretty complex, has an oaky yeasty citrusy and a clovey scent lingering in there

Taste: tastes like good..and then some. It's a sweet malty smooth taste with notes of citrus or something in the background.

Mouthfeel: a thin malt texture not too much to it; not to much of an aftertaste but the cloves come into play in this after taste.

Drinkability: very drinkable, not too heavy, its sweet and complex; it's a good sit down beer

mikel52588, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Huge, foamy, off-white head on top of a hazy, amber body filled with torrents of fast-paced carbonation. Head retention is great and lacing is nice, but slips down quickly.

S- Belgian yeast funk and flowers up-front with a hint of caramel and herb.

T- Very complex and yet smooth and clean. The sweet malts come on first with flavors of honey and caramel. Fruity, floral, and funky flavors in the background.

M- Extra light body and effervescent carbonation make for a sparkling effect in the mouth.

D- A really effective brew with the perfect combination of complexity and smooth drinkability.

EnojysAnyBeer, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of techboy
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I'm not an expert at judging beers so I'll get right to the point.
Drinkability:
I found the Rare Vos to have a nice smooth rich flavor.
Your taste buds anticipate its flavor when you see its dark amber color and bubbly laced head when poured into a glass.
Pleasant notes of clove, bananas and caramel just round out this ale making it smooth and enjoyable. Whether you're coming in from a day of carving up the slopes or in the backyard grilling some steaks for dinner, a Rare Vos is a great addition your day.

techboy, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of craftaholic
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful pint with a 2 finger length of soapy foam and a somewhat cloudy reddish-golden hue

Smell: Huge punch of Belgian yeast, with a tinge of sour apple and clove.

Taste: Subtler than the scent would imply but is a bready almost metallic malt, with dry peppery bitterness with a complex fruit/ spice combo lingering in the background.

Mouthfeel: Velvety on the tongue with a thick aftertaste that coats the entire mouth

Drinkability: A decent all-purpose belgian that would go great with a meaty meal or just a session.

craftaholic, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of neobassman
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have not been disappointed by any offering from this brewery, and the Rare VOS keeps their record intact. Amber, somewhat cloudy pour, generous head that falls to a ring around the glass. Rich, spicy, complex aroma with honey, clove, and yeast. Taste is a little bit dubbel, a little bit saison, a good balance of yeast and malt with just a enough lingering tang to keep one thinking. Honey, citrus, and spice overtones. Hops bitterness is present but in the background. A very nice addition to the Ommegang spectrum, and one that I will certainly purchase again.

neobassman, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of MaxBrews
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a large and rocky white head. and dissipates slowly into a soapy lacing that clings to the glass. Color is medium dark reddish amber.

Smell: Beligian yeast, fruity esters consisting of apples and orange blossom, hidden spices. Not really an aroma-centric beer.

Taste: Caramel malts blending nicely with apples and spiced orange blossom. Some hoppiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, but still feels creamy in the mouth. A medium body, with a slightly dry finnish. Overall well fitting for this style.

Drinkability: A fantastic and refreshing Belgian style beer. A darker beer with fruitiness and spice and all for the right price. I just wish the aroma was a bit stronger.

MaxBrews, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Has a mild yeasty aroma. Taste of spices and yeast, good flavored. Feels creamy in the mouth. Goes down very easily, I could enjoy these all evening. Overall this beer makes a fine choice.

tone77, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of alkemy
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly dark amber with a fluffy foamy light tan head out of a 750ml bottle. I've greatly enjoyed and been very impressed with all the other Ommegang beers I've tried, but found this one to be a disapointment. Smell was of faint clove, apple, and banana. Taste was similiar minus the apple. After everything I've had from Ommegang, I'd probably attribute my displeasure in the style of beer rather than their take on it. I've just not had an amber ale I've much cared for.

alkemy, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of njmoons
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another quality beer for Brewery Ommegang.

Pours a golden brow with a big resliant head.

Smell and Taste are a quality belgian ale with all the subtle flavors of quality Belgian Ales.

I would be happy to have a Rare Vos at anytime, but on the other hand there is not much to distinguish this from other quality Belgian ales.

njmoons, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of goblet
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served it in a pint glass from a 1 pt 9.2 oz bottle it's got some information about the brew on the label .

it looks amber reddish orange ,cloudy with yeast residue loads of tiny bubbly carbonation,a creamy white foam head thats got great retention, leaves some lace.

the soft aroma got a lot to say; it's got fruits like apples and pears and cherrys ,hints of berries maybe raspberrys .along with a mild malt sweetness,lite on the hops .

the taste is of a well crafted beer ,meduim body with a good dose of spices and yeast ,it's got some citrus hop flavor and soft complex fruit blends.

the feeling on the palette is very smooth easy to swallow with a dry spicy after taste .

a highly drinkable brew its fresh tasting,smooth balanced full of spice, mild fruit flavors and complex aromas .well done . cheers

goblet, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of infi
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a a translucent and hazy orange-brown color with a nice fat, frothy foam head that consistently stays and lines the glass very nicely. There's constant bubbling action radiating from the bottom of the glass and rising towards the top. The aroma is very limiting, in my opinion. I can only find the typical Belgian yeast strain odor and some hints of fruitiness - nothing more. The taste however, is completely the opposite. At first taste, you're hit with a subtle spiciness and orange/citrus lingering, topped off by the breadiness of the yeast and the warmth of the alcohol. The mouthfeel is very crisp and light. The bitterness from the hops lines the inners of your cheeks and along the top surface of the tongue - very nice. The drinkability is decently high. Easily sharable with a friend or two.

infi, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium bodied dark with hints of orange in the color.
Smells very nicely of some dark fruits, maybe cherry or plum.
Taste is very spiced, some yeasts, and great dark cherry notes throughout.
Finish is very crisp with the lightly spiced, but subtly flavored after-taste.
Drinks very well, great smoothness through the spices and yeasts.

ThaBobfather, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of benclimbs
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours redish golden off clear with a huge white cappucino head - ommegangs are some of the best looking Americans!

Smell is spicy, and floral with a bit of sour apple... The smell reminds me of an old cathedral (frankincense)

The taste isn't as robust as the smell but is very nice, some nutty, creamy malts, almost bready, some dried berries, and a little bitter citrus

Amazing mouthfeel - the interplay of the creamy head and the active carbonation is rad

Notes - another great one from ommegang, super drinkable, not overly intense yet very complex!

benclimbs, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of SLeffler27
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big, whipped, white head lingers over clear, dark amber with unyielding carbonation.

Floral hops and apple juice are followed by clove and hints of tart Jolly Ranchers.

A Palm snifter comfortably handles the subtle flavors that loosely follow the aroma. Some orange and spicey pepper is also thrown in.

A medium body with velvety texture and no real alcohol, this one is dry with ample carbonation.

Rare Vos is a good, all-purpose beer. I'll finish the rest of this 22 ounce bomber with a dinner suitable for a sly fox.

SLeffler27, Jul 26, 2009
Photo of OtherShoe2
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazed copper/orange with a decent off-white head and some fair retention and light lacing. Pretty beer.

Sweet wheat and yeast and some fruit and baking spice in the aroma. Not heavily scented but good.

Terrific balance in flavors . Yeasty, almost like raw pizza dough, mingled with wheat sweetness and some light fruit that is balanced with white pepper-like bite and a little mineral bitter note. The flavors are a bit lighter than I'd like but that's ok, because it definitely made this pint go down faster.

Medium light body with fair carbonation. You know you've got something going on, but it doesn't get in the way of how you drink it. This went down very well -- a very easy drinker if you are into the style. 6.5% might surprise you, but you don't sense the alcohol at all. Worth trying.

OtherShoe2, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of bbeane
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a snifter... Pours a nice amber/red color with a nice bubbly head that never really disappates completely. Continues to look pretty active after initial pour

S- Has a sweet banana sort of smell that isn't overwhelming

T- Has a nice sweet start, noticeable banana and citrus overtones... typical amber finish. Not my favorite, but good and drinkable

M- Pretty light bodied with some medium light carbonation. Not much lingering flavor after swallowing

D- Very drinkable. Not my first choice in beer styles, but tasty none the less

CHEERS!

bbeane, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of rebel1771
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazey orange color with a big frothy head that dissipates leaving a nice lace.

S: Spicy aroma with lots of candied fruit and a bit of malt.

T: The taste is spicy with notes of sour apple, and banana. Finishes dry and prickly.

D: Pretty good brew that hides the alc. content well. Very drinkable.

rebel1771, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a Unibroue Tulip glass. No date.

A - Almost completely clear (very slight haze) orange/amber with a fast forming and moderately dying off-white, thick head. Ok retention with almost no lacing.

S - Malty-sweet amber malts with a touch of banana and earthy clay from the yeast esters. Light spiciness for a tiny hint of cloves perhaps? Fruity strawberry and raspberry esters linger in the background too! Very complex and awesome!

T - Light and complex (no where near as potent as the aroma sadly) yet delicate. Amber and caramel malts with the slightest touch of banana and clay earthiness. As I got further into the bottle I was picking up more of a light spice and citrusy flavor of orange peel. The aroma eluded to much more going on that the flavor actually produced.

M - Crisp and light, I was surprised at its light body after smelling the aroma. Refreshing with a carbonation bite and citrusy twang to the finish.

D - Save for 6 oz, I had the whole 750 ml. It was pretty easy to drink towards the top and just became less so towards the end. The yeast sediment began to increase (naturally) and it became more and more citrusy.

BeerFMAndy, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of beabear
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very yellowy-brown, with a decent-sized head. Color is a bit light for a "dark" beer, though that often happens with Belgians.

Smell: Quite complex. The typical "Belgian" smell is certainly prevalent -- lots of yeast. However, there is also a lot of fruity notes, with a slight bit of nuttiness as well.

Taste: Starts out almost sweet, but not cloyingly so. The faint bitterness near the end is actually quite refreshing, since it adds a lot to the drinkability.

Mouthfeel: Much more balanced than you'd expect for a beer this alcoholic, especially from Ommegang.

Drinkability: If you discount Witte, this is probably the closest thing Ommegang has to a session beer. Some might consider that a negative thing, but man cannot survive on Three Phils alone.

This may not be the most complex Belgian you can find, but its relative simplicity makes it an important part of the Ommegang lineup. If someone was not very familiar with Belgians, I would certainly start them with this and not Abbey Ale or Three Phils.

beabear, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of sonicstylee
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours out a caramel amber color. it has a nice white head that lasted. malty nose mixed with cherry and clove. wow, hard to figure out, very complex. taste is nice and malty mixed with sour notes, sweet notes?, and clove. great balance and quite complex. mouthfeel was nice and smooth, not real bitter at all. has a similar texture as Fuller ESB. I'll need more to really figure this one out, would buy again

sonicstylee, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of webmanspidey
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle.

Light caramel/amber color. Lots of carbonation: an inch or so of thick head. Smell is sweet and candy-like, definitely a Belgian-esque aroma. Dark fruit, figs, dates, plums, etc..

Taste is pretty light and refreshing. It is somewhat sweet but there's a decent amount of hops and bitterness there as well. A fair amount of spiciness. Not strong at all, this is one of the more "sessionable" Belgian-style beers I've had. To me, it is a lighter and more drinkable version of the heavy hitting Trappist styles. Worth trying.

webmanspidey, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of melagnus
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rare Vos (6.5% ABV)

A - Sudsy-white head pours very thick and then settles down to a finger-thick head, which is supported by medium carbonic activity. The hue is a Copper tone, somewhere around a Medium Amber (SRM 12) color. The beer pours clear and is currently being observed in a snifter. Rousing the glass stirs back up the head to at least finger-thick proportions and leaves a little residue on the side of the glass; great head retention! As the beer warms, a subtle toastiness comes through on the nose, though very mild indeed.

S - Hops play a role in this beer, which is exciting to see, as most Belgian styles don't portray hops in such a forward manner. The Belgian strain of yeast comes through as well, which a bright earthy note. Pear-like fruit notes come through, along with a peppery spice from the yeast. Malts seem somewhat disguised by all the rest, though something sweetish comes through.

T - Sweet caramel taste comes through with, only for a second, syrupy consistency that then waters-out and leaves a slight bitter aftertaste. In the minute second of caramel coming through, comes a warming booziness that is pleasing to the mind, though quickly becomes cloaked by hops and malts. A lingering pear-like fruitiness and drier finish comes forth, with medium carbonation felt on the tongue. In comparison to an Abbey/Trappist Ale, this doesn't have the same levels of malt and booze, but, to-style, allows the hops and malts to play in a more balanced fashion off of one another. Seems to be medium body is much tamer in hops than per-se a Golden Ale would be. Overall, this beer comes across as very smooth and not aggressive in any way. A beer fit for consumption anytime of the year, and easily paired with almost any type of food!

C - I really like this beer, but am still trying to figure it out. It's such a different character than all of the other styles of Belgian beer I've had. From Sours to Quads, Belgians brew an incredible array of beer. Though this beer is FAR from being out of style, this beer clearly shows the British influence of the 18th & 19th centuries, as it has less Belgian flare than other styles formerly tasted.

Prost!

melagnus, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of Liverpool08
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark amber. Nice foamy head that quickly dies down to a small thin line. Aroma of malt and cloves. Taste is of cloves and spice but very tame. I was expecting a lot more from Ommegang. It just didn't jump out at me with any significant taste or flavors. Also it seems a bit watery. Its certainly very drinkible, but not the best I've had.

Liverpool08, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of beerhobo22
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Traditional belgian aroma w cloves. Pours a brilliant copper w good head. Poor head retention, probably due to the glass.
Mellow fruit and malt w balanced hop bitterness. Medium body w a clean finish. Overall a very refreshing ale. Some mild spice isn't overpowering.

beerhobo22, Jul 01, 2009
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,732 ratings.