Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,880 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,880
Reviews: 1,087
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 126
Gots: 287 | 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: 2,880 | Reviews: 1,087 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tan to amber and almost clear. Great lasting head that never seemed to completely disappear and thick, chunky lacing. Plenty of rising bubbles.

Smells spicy and yeasty with a fruit and grain backbone that's slightly sweet and very nice indeed.

Tastes fabulous, a semi-sweet fruit is the first thing I notice. The yeast is present but not overpowering. A lightly dry malt complements a moderate hop bitterness. Spiced just the right amount, noticeable light pepper.

Feels medium bodied and very tangy from the high carbonation. Bitterness lingers a bit more than you'd expect. Moderate dryness.

Given the moderate ABV this one is extremely tasty, very easy to drink, and very desirable to buy again.

The price wasn't bad at all for such a high quality brew. Great stuff.

Photo of dizknee24
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - amber of course. rusty color, nice soft head dissipates after a min or so. opaque.

S - spicy like a typical belgian

t - heavy but light with a mild spice very mild.

m - perfect

d - i could do a bottle of this my self, would have no problem buying again

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a darker amber color, with a large lacing head. Smelt of spices typical of a good beligin beer. The taste was a bit heavy, lots of spices were present, a bit malty also. A very full flavor, but nothing that made it very difficult to drink: everyone could enjoy it. Overall I found this beer VERY enjoyable.

Photo of mempath
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep apricot 'amber' with gothic lacing and a lively, meringue-ish head that settles slowly into a nice veneer...

nose is (again) a bright dried fruit (apricot!), sweet but with a bit of alcohol punch. a bit of wheatiness, but definitely more 'body' and depth. wow.

the taste is all that the nose is, but in a more understated way. actually nice not to be overwhelmed. a dry finish that gives a flash of more-sweet-than-sourness (in a very balanced way) and a mouthfeel that is luscious but not thick.

this is quite balanced and crafted. very drinkable. quite a bargain. so very recommended.

i MUST race their next year's cyclocross race...

Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a massive head of fluffy suds and nice lacing.

Very floral with some light fruitiness and a buttercream presence.

Mirrors the nose quite well. Does have a good dose of white pepper spiciness. Clean and light tasting.

Fluffy soft from all of the carbonation. Smooth medium body.

Easy drinking and enjoyable. An easy to drink style overall.

Photo of Tucquan
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2010-12-08 at Rivermont Pizza in Lynchburg, VA.

A - Clear orange amber with a pillowy white head.

S - Mild grain, belgian yeast, oranges.

T - Sour bitterness up front, then the big yeast flavor, grass, oranges, more sourness. Finishes pretty dry and mildly bitter. A nice flavor.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Mildly creamy and effervescent.

D - More of a sipper than quaffable for me but quite enjoyable.

Photo of Blanco
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the color is amber as the name implies with a tan head. heavily carbonated and bubbly. mostly transparent although slightly cloudy. the smell is of light belgian yeast and some fruity sweetness. taste is of the yeast and is sweet. like a lighter tripel. the beer is light and refreshing and is a nice change of pace for a Belgian. Very good.

Photo of aranheaney
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a DFH snifter, continuing to work my way through Ommegang's wonderful line-up...

A-ridonkulous head that takes a long time to reduce to a point that the rest can be poured into the glass

S-Excellent, yeast, malt, some caramel, maybe a bit of apricot

T-Equally excellent, good up-front with maybe a bit too much carbonation but a good finish

M-Very good, little aftertaste

D-good, these are sold in both 4 packs and bombers and you can enjoy it in either capacity

Photo of chickenflea
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured a caramel color with a large frothy head. Aroma was coriander, orange peel, grains of paradise, with honey-like malts and caramel. Taste was very sturdy. This brew will not be overwhelmed by typical bar foods. Sweetness was moderate with a pleasant balanced spiciness. Grainy. Mouthfeel was thick at first, but mellows quickly and dissipates on the palate. Overall an excellent beer. Substantial.

Photo of david18
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I recently reviewed this on draft and this is what I said:

I had a couple of glasses of this the other day at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. I'm not sure why it's called a dark ale as it is light in color and does not have the dark fruit aromatics that one usually thinks of with a belgian dark. In any case, a very good and refreshing beer. Lightish in color, great belgian flavor and aroma, good carbonation. A very good beer for a summer afternoon.


Same goes with the bottle. Perhaps not as enjoyable as it was on draft but a good beer.

Photo of morimech
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber color with one finger of head that had good retention before settling to a thick cap. Just a little lacing is left on the glass. Aroma of Belgian yeast, candied sugar, and some fruit like pears and plums. Good complex flavor as well. Pale malt, candied sugar, spicey yeast, and a slight vinous quality. Somewhat dry finish. No hint of alcohol. Medium body but the carbonation is a little bit lackluster. A decent texture is salvageble. Very enjoyable beer from Ommegang.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce capped bottle into a Bruery tulip. This is the number one BDA and I had somehow neglected to try it up until this point.

The color is a dark peach color with a single-finger white head that fades down to a quarter-inch and stays for awhile. Pretty good lacing as well. The aroma consists of some honey and Belgian yeast as well as a bit of pear and some slight dark fruits.

The flavor is quite nice with a big dose of pear, yeast, and some light banana. There is a very, very small amount of white pepper in the background. I also get a hint of stone fruit. The feel is somewhat light with good carbonation and a bit of creaminess. This drinks quite well and is one of the better Ommegang brews that I've had.

Photo of jlandis
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice opaque copper with fluffy tan head. The nose is fantastic! Full of clove and spice with nice malt sweetness. There is this solid bready aroma and earthy hops that ground the aroma. The flavor is just as fantastic as the aroma. There is a simple sweetness that starts the flavor then the clove takes the forefront. The bread and finishing spices are a fantastic end. The body is moderate with standard carbonation.

Pretty solid beer overall. Nothing spectacular, but a great way to round off a solid thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of mweso2000
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rare Vos pours a cloudy amber color with a huge 3 finger head. It took two pours to fit in the pint glass despite a mild pour. Wow the aroma! Often I have to put my nose close to smell the beer, but I could smell the aroma of spice, hops, fruit and yeast as I poured. I paired Rare Vos with Thanksgiving dinner (Thank you Beer Advocate). This was THE PERFECT beer to go with the heavy starches, poultry and gravy. The fruit, spice, hops and yeast balanced out the heavy meal. Every sip was pure heaven. It has a medium body with medium carbonation. This beer is highly drinkable with a low abv. My only regret is that I had only 1 bottle to go with dinner.

Photo of Leviathan
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rare Vos pours a clear, light amber color with a thick white head. The bottle advises you to pour so as not to disturb the yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

I popped the cork and was instantly greeted with a yeasty bread dough smell. The aromas shifted to a pleasant balance of spice, malt, and citrus.

This beer tastes incredible. It is complex and refined, yet at the same time simple and easy to drink. It is definitely on the milder side of the ale spectrum, going easier on the malts and hops. This beer finishes similar to a dry white wine or hefeweizen, slightly acidic leaving your mouth watering.

Mouthfeel is light and very well balanced. The flavors ease seamlessly from yeast, through spice, to fruit, finishing slightly bitter.

Rare Vos always been one of my favorite Belgian Style beers. It gives up some of the weight and depth of its counterparts, but renders itself more drinkable and still keeps your palette watering for more. This beer does a great job of filling the gap between Witte and Hennepin...

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appears a hazy golden hue with a gargantuan head that leaves ample lacing on the tulip glass.

Aromas include yeast, fruit, sugared candies, malt (Belgian), apples, and alcohol.

The taste is a balanced offering of everything I detected in the scent. Spiced fruit with some bread and yeast, followed by a zesty subtle bitterness, like lemon and/or orange zest. The sweetness, which tastes like fruity yeast or yeasty fruit, whichever you like, is minimal enough that I couldn't see it becoming cloying.

The feel is medium to full bodied with long lasting flavor and an above average level of carbonation.

This is a very good beer and worth buying.

Photo of mbusster88
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A: Pours hazy amber with tan head. Quite a bit of carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass.

S: Dried fruits, dates, plums maybe orange. Smell of coriander. Really deep aroma of earthy notes coming from the yeast.

T/M: Get the dried fruit right away. Follows up with heavy earth characteristics and great notes of deep apricot tastes. Really smooth taste and feel to this. Typical Belgian style characteristics show through, clean and very well done.

D: Love to drink this beer, great medium body makes this a good one to drink by itself. Really love the deep fruit notes, makes this a wonderful beer to admire and enjoy.

Photo of nhindian
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Ommegang glass.

A - As it pours from the bottle into my Ommegang flute, it builds a spectacular 3 finger, foamy as hell head that lasts forever. Constant streams of heavy carbonation rush through the burnt orange colored body and replenish the head throughout. As the beer draws on, the head folds over into a thick cap that is still speckled with bubbles. The lace on this is as if it's glued to the glass. It just completely coats the sides and spiderwebs the length. It always impresses me how well Ommegang's beers present themselves.

S - Although this is classified as a Belgian Dark, I'm getting a lot of the characteristics of a Belgian Pale in the nose, including coriander, orange peel, banana, and some spice. However, I do also smell some darker elements like figs, plums, and even some apple. Very floral and effervescent. Finally, getting the typical grape bubblegum aroma typical to other Belgian styles. Impressive and inviting.

T - Much like the smell, I'm definitely getting some Belgian Pale qualities in the flavor profile. Fruit and orange qualities up-front, reducing to more fuller, peppery finish. Not as dry as crisp as a Pale, and certainly more robust. Throughout the taste I get a malt thickness that adds a bread quality.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. The bubbles help deliver the flavor throughout the mouth, but don't completely cleanse the palate, but in a darker Belgian I'm not really expecting them to.

D - Drinkability is high. Moderately low ABV combined with a complex and flavorful taste profile keeps this one in my hand often. Just a slight hint of alcohol in the aftertaste. Drinks quickly and beautifully!

Photo of greenmonstah
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into DFH Snifter
A - Pours a deep amber with a big finger of gorgeous white head.Head shrinks fast.

S - Belgian yeast and fruit, maybe apple. And a bit of dark fruit.

T - Some tart fruitiness followed by a hint of sweetness. Yeasty. Finishes with a toasty malt flavor that envelops the mouth wonderfully.

M - Light to medium body with nice carbonation. Feels crisp and clean on the tongue and leaves the mouth feeling a bit dry, but comfortable and warm.

D - Very easy to drink. The bottle was gone far too quickly. All around very soldi beer.

Photo of ngeunit1
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a light amber color with nice 2 finger layer of frothy white head that has fairly good retention. Some lacing left behind.

S - A bit fruity (apple and pear mostly) and some carmel and honey notes.

T - Nice malty and fruity taste. The hops come in toward the end and there is a mix of hops and fruits left afterwards.

M - Medium bodied and fairly strong carbonation. Fairly smooth and crisp.

D - Very smooth beer and fairly easy to drink. The tastes are present and well balanced overall.

Photo of CASK1
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale orange, with plenty of haze. Thick white head with excellent retention. Nice lacing to the bottom of the glass.

S: Fruity, especially citrus and tropical. Low spicy hop aroma, and virtually no malt aroma.

T: Low caramel malt, with a nice, drying hop bitterness. Belgian yeast phenolics (peppery) and lots of esters - reminiscent of red berries. Low spicy hop flavor. Not terribly well-balanced. Slightly tart. Needs more malt to support the other flavor features. Alcohol flavors are evident - could be better hidden in a beer of moderate strength.

MF: Somewhat astringent finish. Prickly carbonation. Light body.

D: Not bad, but doesn't make me crave another as I had hoped.

I'm a big fan of Ommegang, but this beer left me somewhat disappointed.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a beautiful glow to it and a relatively thin white head. Slightly tart nose, but fruity with pear, a touch of lemon, a light dusting of clove, and a bit of breadiness. Pleasant. The taste is even better. Beautifully balanced with nice spicebox and fruit notes balanced by some yeasty breadiness and a touch of caramel. More pear and clove, but everything is rather restrained rather than in your face. Subtlety can be a good think. The finish is harmonious union of the pear, caramel, and clove- without being very sweet. Slightly on the carbonated side, but with a creamy, soft fizz to it. Very nice with a cheese plate, and quite drinkable. Lovely.

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The overall color of Rare Vos is a slightly muted orange heading in the direction of amber. The wheat content of the beer makes it cloudy as is typically seen with other wheat beers but seems to be even cloudier than most. The smell hold citrus notes which helps the beer achieve a higher level of drinkablilty because it is not too strong of a wheat taste. When poured out of the bottle it produces a nice fluffy head which beatifully compliments the color of the brew. This is my personal favorite of the original ommegang beers and is a must try in my book for anyone seeking a quality beer.

Photo of Sneers
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-amber capped with an fluffy ecru head. The aroma is light, but consists of banana and clove.

The taste is mildy fruity without much sweetness. Malt is fairly subdued. The finish is quite dry with a moderate hoppiness.

The mouthfeel is a little bit thin with a fuzzy carbonation. Dry and crisp on the tongue.

I like this beer, but I find it lacking in most respects. I don' know; maybe I just can't appreciate it for itself, outside the shadow of Ommegang's Abbey Ale.

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

22oz bottle bought at Harris Teeter. Poured into DFH glass.

A - Pale golden hazy. More light than most Ambers, but more amber than gold. Huge head with good retention. Lots of lacing going on

S - Bread and yeast. Sweet hints of fruit or caramel.

T - Yeasty and fruity. There is some spiciness or a lot carbonation because something stings the tongue.

M - It has a good amount of carbonation and a medium boddied feel to it.

D - I could drink a few of these, but its not my preferred style.

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,880 ratings.