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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,535 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,535
Reviews: 1,071
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 102
Gots: 166 | 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: 2,535 | Reviews: 1,071 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kwakwhore

North Carolina

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

Orange pour from a 12 ounce bottle. Ample white head leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.
Characteristic Belgian yeast in the aroma, some malt.
Flavor is rich and malty(Belgian style Marzen?) with a large amount of biscuit malt, followed by again a good bit of spicy yeast along with some tealike hop flavors.
Crisp and refreshing mouthfeel with a nice amount of carbonation.
One of the most drinkable Belgian style beers I've had. I could make an evening out of this beer. A pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 03:38:20 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of bigeyedfish


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

750 ml corked/caged bottle poured into a Rare Vos tumbler. No freshness date on the bottle.

A finger and a half to two fingers of white head on top of a pretty nice orange body. Half the head dissipates quickly, leaving a trail of thick, pilowly lace, while the other half just kind of settles into a finger of nice head. A darn good looking beer.

The first aroma is hops; there is some wood on the nose as result, as well as some along with some light pine needle-components. A pretty unassuming nose, quite subtle, but pleasing none the less.

Wow, an amazing taste. The hops that smelled like they would be there are no where to be found. The predominant flavor is white chocolate. It's creamy, sweet, absolutely no hint of hops at all. If you let me smell the beer, and then put this beer, along with 4/5 other IPA's/Amber's in unmarked cups and asked me to pick the beer out, using aroma as the only clue, there's no way I would have guessed that that smell leads to THIS taste. There's some really just amazing white chocolate, along with some real balanced, sweet honey. There are some hops that fade in and out, but the white chocolate and honey are the dominant flavors. The finish is a lingering pine needle, the only trace of the nose in the taste, with some equally lingering Belgian yeast thrown in for good measure. Wow. What a fantastic beer.

The mouthfeel leave some things to be desire. The duration of the finish is minimal, and there is not a lot of grip on the palate. The sipping of the beer leaves an amazingly dense, rich, coating on the palate, but like the finish, it fades quite quickly. Still, the coating is good enough.

This is a beer that at 6.5% is almost sessionable and with the way it tastes, it's a good thing the alcohol is so low. This is a beer that you want to drink. A lot. It's an absolutely out-of-this-world-smooth amber- more american brewers need to make amber's like this. It's the polar opposite of the Hopback Amber/Nugget Nectar-school of amber brewing, and is put together nicely enough that it's merits can be thrown up against Brewery Ommegang's other offerings; not an easy accomplishment when you are going against Three Philosopher's and Ommegang Abbey Ale, but this beer for a lot of people will eclipse the aforementioned beers. This is a beer that, if it were more widely distributed, could be like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, occupying the growing category of gateway beers that bring the drinker from generic American Macro Lagers to Craft Brewed beers. A truly inspired effort by Ommegang and one that is sure to be a staple of my beer fridge for years to come.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2008 01:24:42 | More by bigeyedfish
Photo of MrMcGibblets


3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the champagne-style bottle, this was a good looking beer-cloudy amber with a nice off-white head and lacing. bouqet was very fruity, with apricots and raspberries coming to mind along with notes of honey, flowers, fresh bread dough and a musty barnyard aroma. taste was a bit of sweet malt with a moderate bitterness. astringent, sourish finish. medium in body with a spritzy mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 23:03:38 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of bluemoonswoon


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into my new Duvel tulip glass

Pours a nice cloudy orangey amber with a big fluffy one and a half white head that bubbles down to a cap in a few minutes, there is a solid cookie yeasty funk but really nothing else, the taste is much like the smell with spicy yeast and a bit of fresh red apple with a suprisingly alcoholic finish, the mouth feel is rather loose and watery and rather insubstantial. The drinkablity is smooth and easy but not what I was expecting from this style of beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 05:04:57 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of Stimack

New York

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

Brew poured to a nice orange color with amber highlights. Filled the goblet perfectly with a nice sized head that went right to the rim of the glass. Surprising this did not translate into a nice amount of lacing? The aromas that come to mind first are fruit, to me it has a strong apple presence. Also there is a classic clove yeast scent that is just so good! Also a nice subdued spiciness. The flavor is very good, spicy on the back of the mouth reminds me of a peppery mix, sweet flavors from the malts almost a candy like flavor. Adequate hop and a nice semi-dry finish. Now I will admit that I am not the best at putting my thoughts down on paper so I know that I am missing a few things here but IMO this is a excellent brew, one that I have had numerous times in the past (being in NY) but not in a number of years. Glad to give this one a try once again, a very solid offering from Ommegang.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 15:23:24 | More by Stimack
Photo of jar2574


3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tall pilsner glass, the closest thing I could find to the suggested glass on the bottle. Extremely thick tan head, amber colored beer.

Spices, berries, and yeasts; a lovely smell.

Unfortunately, the taste disappoints, especially for an Ommegang offering. It's a bit bland for a Belgian inspired beer. Too watery and lacking in flavor.

What flavor there is is OK, it just doesn't blow your socks off. Malts, berries, and then a touch of acidity and baking soda in the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 01:49:20 | More by jar2574
Photo of Brad007


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden/light amber color with a thick, fluffy head that hangs there. Aroma is strong and malty with a hint of spice. Taste is malty and rich upfront with a fruity/spicy element showing through. Tastes a bit funky in a good way. Coriander/nutmeg stand out to me (even if they may not be in this beer) and it's just a very solid ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 01:32:23 | More by Brad007
Photo of CDBeerDisappear


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

Hazy and orange with a decent head, plenty of lacing. Aroma of floral hops maybe cloves and apples. Taste is dry and malty with a clean coarse carbonated finish. Mouthfeel is decent and the flavor stands up to the spiciest foods. A little expensive to drink a lot of this one but certainly a pleasure I would indulge in again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2007 01:22:20 | More by CDBeerDisappear
Photo of hiikeeba


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

A - Pours up copper colored, hazy with a creamy white head that falls to a cap on top of the beer

S - Sweet malt, with a hint of apple.

T - There is a caramel like flavor to the malt. The spiced apple aroma is echoed in the beer.

M - Full bodied with a tickle of carbonation on the tongue

D - Very drinkable. I could easily drink a couple of these. An excellent beer

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 00:07:31 | More by hiikeeba
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

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

appearance - Has a copper color to it with a nice large head, with some nice lace.

smell - Dark fruit and spices here.

taste - Has a cherry taste to it but not sweet, and has some spices along with the alchohol present.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Not bad, worth a try. Anything is good from Ommegang. I drank this almost a year later.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 16:59:31 | More by auxiliary
Photo of SargeC


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep copper color with an off-white head. Good carbonation flow.

Smell: Spice, citrus.

Taste: This brew is slightly acidic throughout the taste. Yeast, orange peel and a mild malt backbone dominate.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Lighter than expected.

Drinkability: A good brew. Easy to consume.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 00:46:26 | More by SargeC
Photo of bosco7


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale orange color with a uber creamy thick head. Head retention is good and the lacing is thick and plentiful. Quite a looker.

Biscuits, red apple skin, cranberry, pepper, soap, and candy aromas. The nose on this one is great!

Biscuit, grain husk, and some light caramel upfront. Apple skin and pear flavors show up towards the middle of the sip. Finish is bone dry with some spicy pepper and some pleasant medicinal flavors.

Mouthfeel is pleasantly dry with the perfect amount of carbonation. I plan on getting my hands on a case of this for the summer. Extremely refreshing and nice entry point into the world of craft beer for non-beer-geek friends.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 22:47:49 | More by bosco7
Photo of Tilley4


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

I'm not the biggest Belgian fan but I am trying to broaden my horizons a bit so I'm trying as many as I can.

This is a very impressive color with one of the most persistent heads ever.

Smells yeasty and a bit funky with a sweetness to it.

Very vinous and yeasty tastes with a nice smoothness to the finish. Actually a very nice beer.

Not quite what the Chimay blue is as far as the Belgian style goes, but this is still a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 17:18:50 | More by Tilley4
Photo of cabsandking


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

Cloudy dark golden with a thin white head, sticky looking though. Sour wheat and yeast characters with some soft lemon lime, rocky candy, and floral hop notes for a nose. Yeasty twang is very smoothed out, nutty and caramel malts, toasted wheat cracker, cereal grains, herbal and floral hop characters are slightly perfumy, citrus is lemony with a touch of grapefruit pith. Some caramel into the finish with coriander like spiciness and unripe green banana. Medium to full body has a nice smooth mouthfeel, slightly cloying, and a crisp carbonation that eeks out some creaminess.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2007 16:58:22 | More by cabsandking
Photo of jwff


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep burnt orange with a thick white head that retains a bit. Soapy lacing and some suspended yeast. Smell is caramel brown sugar and toasty almost burnt grains. Hops, light fruit and biscuity malt in the finish.

Nicely carbonated mouth with just the right touch of thickness (medium to light bodied) set the pace for this one. Mellow caramel and brown sugar (or something just as powdery and sweet) amidst a spicy yeast strain and toasty grain in the middle. Finishes strong with bright earthy hops and a dryer finish that's balanced with a slight light apple with a touch of cinnamon.

Hoppier than expected. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 04:03:25 | More by jwff
Photo of BeardedSquash


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer fell cleanly into my glass with a good thick head of white suds that remained until I was finished. Active bubbles are visible through the clear cedar colored body. Smells of sweets and spices give way to a more subtle flavor of toasted grains and bready yeast. A lingering raisin flavor stays int eh mouth after the swallow. The scratchy, almost velcro mouthfeel perfectly accompanies this brew. Definitely worth the buy.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 23:08:27 | More by BeardedSquash
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Ale pours a dark amber orange. Full fluffy pumpkin pie crust colored head supported by plenty of tiny bubbles of carbonation racing to the top. Impressive looking brew in my Grottenbier glass.

The nose is full of oranges and citrus fruit mixed with some Belgian spice. Some bits of cinnamon and yeast peek out through the caramel malts. The brew begs to be sipped.

This amazingly smooth brew tastes of caramel malts and spice. The fruity yeast seems to have departed that was amazing in the nose, which is a let down. Comes off as being a little too spicy. Finishes semi-dry with a light sourness.

Mouthfeel as noted above is smooth, but not what I would describe as creamy. The tight bubbles of carbonation seem to bring the spices to the forefront, which came off a little overbearing in my opinion. Looks great and smells great, but doesn't come off as such overall. Nonetheless worth a go.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 21:09:07 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of wheelinshirt


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL shared with a friend after some late night pizza. Poured a fairly clear and beautiful amber color with nice size head that recedes to a thin cap and leaves no lacing. I was a little disappointed in that department. I was hoping for some orval-esque head and it simply didn't measure up.

Smell is fruity yeast esters (clove, banana) as well as biscuity malt. Nothing to complain about in the smell. Not overpowering and no off smells.

Taste is very good. Standard fruity belgian yest flavors with balanced malt and some hop bitterness. As it warms it seems to get a little funky. Maybe that is jsut wishful thinking, it is hard to tell. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium light, much better than expected as this is characterized here as a belgian dark which tend to get too thick and sweet for me. Very enjoyable and very drinkable. An absolute delight.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2007 22:51:20 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of BWH3


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

Rare Vos Brewery Ommegang
Large Corked 750mL Bottle from a Goblet at 50 F

Appearance: Amber orange with cloudy clarity. Head is a a very light tan that pours creamy and thick but fades quickly to a firm ring and stable island. Looks like a cloudy American style amber. (4.0)

Smell: Aroma almost solely from the grain bill. The scent is rich and hardy dominated by a toasty, biscuit aroma combined with sweet raisin. This raisin scent gives a moderate fruity character to the beer which is enhanced by a mild caramel sweetneess. A slight sour note is also detectable. No floral or spicy notes from either the yeast or hops. Again, imagine an American amber that is on the sweet side but without the typical floral/citrus hops scent (4.0)

Taste: Scent traslates perfectly to the palavte. Big, smooth biscuit malt sweetness like raisin bread with very light hops bitterness. The palate is cleansed by a mild sourness rather than hops bitterness. The finish is mildly sweet. The taste is full but pretty one dimensional. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light body. Descent carbonation. Feels sessionable as it should be. (4.5)

Drinkability: High quality, extremely enjoyable Belgian amber ale perfect for quaffing. (4.5)

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2007 19:30:29 | More by BWH3
Photo of Lupe

New York

4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy amber with active carbonation. Wonderful off-white head - fluffy, creamy, clingy and lasts. Leaves behind some lace. Very appealing to look at.

Fruity aroma along with some toasted grain, sweet malt, and spice - clove and pepper. Slight mustiness, and a dose of yeast.

Sweet malt, fruit, and biscuit flavors upfront. Green apple and banana mingle with zesty spice and notes of funky yeast. A bit peppery with subtle grassy hops. Finishes slightly dry with lingering yeast flavors.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Smooth and slick on the tongue.

So easy to drink, and excellent paired with food. Very versatile - good with a hot ham sandwich or Thanksgiving dinner. Definitely a beer to always have on hand - drinkable and flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 00:23:04 | More by Lupe
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the 750 ml bottle into an Augustijn chalice. Body is murky orange with lots of bubbles rising to a slightly off-white head. No lacing left behind.

S: Initial impression is cloves and fruit -- banana and apple comes to mind -- with a slightly earthy mustiness in there too.

T: Fruity -- green apple skins and maybe pear -- and malty -- a dry, biscuity kind of malt taste. Also a good deal of zesty spiciness as well.

M: Slightly lighter than medium in heft. Good dry, spritzy feel offsets the sweet, fruity flavors and leaves a clean, dry feel in the mouth after the sip. Nice.

D: Pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2007 20:38:35 | More by Kendo
Photo of kguyty


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer in Cooperstown, NY. It was pretty darn good, especially on-tap. The beer came to me with a nice, thich head. The coloring was a nice light-brown/reddish color. The smell was nice, but I do not remember much regarding that. The taste was a nice, nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness. Mouthfeel was good, not too thick, not too thin. A well-balanced beer worth trying again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2007 00:56:28 | More by kguyty
Photo of animal69


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

another from the Ommegang gang ; pours a hazy light copper-brown w/ a huge head that took it's time going down, good lacing as well ; a bready fruit aroma w/ an orange-like citrusy undertone, a faint alcohol prescence as well ; a tart, slighlty vinous flavor, w/ an interesting hop flavor as well, some fruity flavor comes through in the end ; a dry, light-med bodied brew, very bubbly, can't help but burp after each sip ; a nice beer, not to high of an ABV makes this one quite quaffable...

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 06:32:52 | More by animal69
Photo of Gehrig


4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I first tried this outstanding beer last winter on New Year's Eve, purchasing it as part of a Holiday pack that included other excellent Ommegang products Three Philosophers and Hennepin. As an additional perk, these came with a 12 oz. Ommegang glass. Deep and cloudy red in color, Rare Vos poured a rich frothy head into my large mug. It has an interesting melange of flavors, on the whole sweet but with a peppery tinge to it that complements the fruitiness quite well.

Like so many Ommegang products, Rare Vos is a treat, great to enjoy on a cold Winter evening, great to share (especially since it comes in 750ml bottles), and it goes great with cheeses. Smooth and tasty, it is one of my absolute favorites. Try it and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2007 23:10:58 | More by Gehrig
Photo of rshwayder

Rhode Island

3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This has a nice cloudy pour with a taste to fit. This is a smooth amber beer with a bit of spice and mild sweet to it. Smells like a yeasty beer, and it is. Good head and bubbles coupled with a lack of overt bitterness make this a quite drinkable beverage.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2007 02:00:38 | More by rshwayder
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,535 ratings.