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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,772 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,772
Reviews: 1,080
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 121
Gots: 244 | 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: 2,772 | Reviews: 1,080 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rayek
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang flute.

A: Cloudy red oak, even with a very careful pour. A large and foamy pale cream head has OK retention and leaves bits of lace.

S: Quite fruity initially, as green grape, pear and even a hint of bubblegum hit right away. Things become a bit spicy after that, with a clove and coriander kick. The aroma finishes up with a mild sourdough scent.

T: Spicy clove and sourdough bread dominate the flavor. There is a distinct fruitiness here that's made up of flavors of pear and grape. Finishes sharp and dry. Alcohol adds a mild warmth at the end.

M: The grainy body has a high level of mouth tingling carbonation.

D: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It's flavor profile reminded me a bit of a dunkelweiss, even though this isn't one. The spicy clove and penetrating carbonation are what did it. Overall, I'm really glad I finally picked this up.

Rayek, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of drawbackwards
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is "Wow"...I have heard all the hype about this beer and the stellar reviews it gets so I had to try it. I have had Abbey Ale from Ommegang and love it, so I had to try this one. First thing I notice is the pour...It gives an amazing head. You must be careful or a huge head will takeover your glass. The words "slow but vigorous" appear on the bottle. I would aim more for slow and less for vigorous.

The smell is fantastic, mouthfeel is great. Super smooth. This beer is so ridiculously smooth and flavorful that it really is a glorious representation of the style. If you like Hopback (Troegs), you will love this. It doesn't have the hoppiness of the Troegs, but has so much character anyway. You need this...seriously.

drawbackwards, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of TommyW
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Hazy amber with a nice off-white head.

S- Malty with a nice note of spices.

T- Nice malty flavors upfront with some complex sugar tones followed by a great tasted of different spices. Hops are there and balanced well.

M- Full body with a smooth carbonation.

D- Really nice take on this style.

TommyW, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of botham
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Sugar Maple in Milwaukee. Pours a hazy amber color with one finger of healthy white head, good retention and no lacings.

Aroma is of Belgian yeast up front with undertones of subtle banana and citrus along with a mild sweetness and some subtle spice, almost reminiscent of a wit, though dialed back in intensity.

Taste follows the nose with the profile of a wit, though a bit less citrusy and spicy than a typical wit. There is wonderful proportioning, with a character not much like a Belgian Dark. Goes down smooth with residual fruity yeast and a touch of malty spice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a fruity yeast aura and a finish of residual yeast.

Drinkability is good. An easy going Belgian that does the right things well and holds back on the right things just as well. Nicely crafted. Cheers!

botham, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of jeffjeff1
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was really good. First Ommegang for me, got it in a 3 pack of Ommegang beers

Appearance- amber color, good head retention

Smell- malt

Taste- malt, dark fruit, delicious, a certain yummy spice to it

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- Excellent, will drink it again

jeffjeff1, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of gloriousglo2
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

....just had my first one. Freakin' awesome. Don't know how to put it any other way. Great amber color, nice body, pours with a great head, no aftertaste. Perfect amount of sweetness and balance. Got a 4 pack for about $9, not too bad, considering the overall quality of this beer.

gloriousglo2, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of DrScotch
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first foray into the Ommegang collection...

Copper coloured ale, very animated carbonation, nice bold head that hangs around.

Bright and fresh aroma, some citrus and clove.

First sip bursts in bubbles and a light dryness reminiscent of the fizz and flavour of champagne. The flavour develops into mild bitterness balanced with sweet and spice and a warming finish which is the only hint of the 6.5% ABV.

I could easily knock back 2 or 3 bottles of this in an afternoon and possibly come back for a 4th (if still able to stand)...

DrScotch, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Resurrection Ale House on 10/3/09.

A - Very hazy, peachy golden/orange color with one finger of fluffy, bright white head that retained well and deposited a fair amount of lace on the glass.

S - Initial aroma blends spicy, peppery notes with fruity esters suggesting apple and citrus fruit. Hints of clove and basement funk also emerge as the liquid warmed up. Malt base consists of toasted grains and bready notes.

T - Subtly complex with the typical saison attributes: fruity esters, spicy yeast and a hint of pepper and clove. While there is some earthy bitterness in the backend, the finish is actually quite Berliner Weiss-esque with a splash of sourness and a prevalent toasted grainy malt character.

M - Medium bodied with substantial carbonation and a syrupy texture. Slight sourness with plenty of residual sweetness and a hint of earthy bitterness on the palate.

D - A superb saison, Rare Vos is definitely an excellent representation of the style. I'm realy surprised it took me so long to try this.

ffejherb, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

A-Relatively clear amber brew. Big, fluffy lighter-tan head retained decently, eventually down to a consistent, thin layer.

S-Spicy over a yeasty breadiness. Somthing peppery-soury over the top of it.

T-Fruity character mixes with breadiness and spice with a black pepper character on top of it all. Bitterness is not apparent. Finishes with an almost sour fruitiness, and relatively dry.

M-High carbonation, medium body. Probalby appropriate, but it just didn't quite feel right to me.

D-An easy-drinking amber ale with a nice touch of Belgian influence and flavor. This is easy and smooth enough that it could be a good gateway beer into Belgian-style flavors.

CHSLBrew, Oct 01, 2009
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Knowing fully well that I was in for a treat after having success with other brews from Ommegang--I was not let down.

I almost forgot how careful I have to be when pouring a nicely chilled, quality belgian brew--this head was scrumptious and lacing was like that of the rings a few hundred year old redwood. Simply there as reminders of each sip.

I enjoyed this amber ale as a sort of an every day option where its flavor is more reserved than that of a white/wheat variety. Rather, this was spicy and warm afterwards--of course not without that initial, wonderful, carbonated smack on the palate.

Please give this a try...and enjoy it slowly.

JTWILDOATS, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken last month (8/21)

Pours a clowdy amber with thick 2 finger head. Big bubbles fade quickly to a lacey half finger of off white head. Fruity aroma with yeast present. Taste is filled with yeast, nearly bread like but has a fruit character akin to apples. Smells also of apples and spice as well. Light mouthfeel and mildly warming sweet finish.

stakem, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of bump8628
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle.

Light orange/copper color with a slight haze and 1 finger of fluffy, white head.

Aroma is fruity with plum notes and some mild yeasty spiciness.

Tastes of bready and caramelly malt and fruity/spicy Belgian yeast. Some faint earthy and spicy hops round it all out. Finishes dry and refreshing with a very creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, a very balanced and drinkable Belgian-style ale. Very versatile for pairing with foods and great for any season.

bump8628, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of drtth
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a hazed, dark orange/amber color with a 1" thick light tan head that creates a ring of lace around the glass. As the head recedes it leaves a thin layer of foam on the liquid and a nice ring of foam. On sipping the lacing pattern is like a spider web on one side of the glass and speckles of lacing on the other. Over time most of the head disappears but the ring and lacing persist for quite a while.

Smell: The aroma is lightly yeasty, softly spicy with hints of coriander and clove, and laced with traces of fruitiness that include orange and apricot. The whole is quite rich and complex.

Taste: The yeasty flavor also contains some light sweet, caramel maltiness that blends nicely with a touch of spices--clove and even some ginger. There is also fruitiness here with some banana, apple and golden raisins. Creating a counterpoint and rounding everything out, there is a trace of bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and softly smooth with good, persistent carbonation. The finish is long, clean, crisp and dry.

Drinkability: This is outstanding. To my tastes this highly drinkable beer is meant for sipping and relaxing but I can also see that it should go well with dinner or even to follow dinner as a dessert treat. This is definitely a beer to have more than one of both tonight and in the future.

drtth, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a single at Cost Plus. My first, but not my last of this beer! Enjoyed in a tulip.

A: About 3 fingers frothy light beige head over a dark amber (red in the light) body. Good retention and nice webbed lacing.
S: Big fruits at the pour. Very ripe and sweet. Pleasant on the nose. A bit of earth I would expect in an Ommegang brew, and the clove spice and wheat I expect in a Belgian ale. Spices are wonderful, and the aroma is almost perfumey.
T: Emphasis on the clove and other dark spices. Wheat-like and earthy, all of which I expected from the aroma. Grassy. Delicious.
M: Medium body with high, crisp carbonation.
D: I am a big fan of this brew. To me, it seems like a less horse blanket version of Hennepin. Refreshing and drinkable.

washburnkid, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of kingcrowing
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottles poured into a wine glass.

Pours a ruby color with no head. Has a nice hoppy and sweet aroma.

Taste is somewhat sweet and a bit malty. Nice and sharp with a bit of hoppiness and some good thick flavors, overall pretty decent but not one of my favorites from Ommegang.

kingcrowing, Sep 19, 2009
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.
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
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,772 ratings.