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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,657 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,657
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 113
Gots: 205 | 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: 2,657 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

Clingy tan head with delicate bubbles. Great retention and good lacing. Orange or amber color like a Midwest sunset. Aroma of sweets fruits and rich soil. Great flavors displaying much depth like an aged wine. Tropical fruits and exotic spices. Cloves, mango, white pepper, fermented grapes. Light carbonation, dry finish with a crisp nip. Velvety smooth and the sweet character does not cloy the intriguing flavors. Clearly a quality brew.

08-20-2008 14:42:00 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Reagan1984


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

I had this on tap in Cooperstown, NY moments before visiting Brewery Ommegang.

The beer came in the specific Rare Vos glass that Brewery Ommegang sells. It came with a thin but substantial head. Color was bright and deep amber with loads or red highlights. Slight Haze with some visible carbonation. Very Nice looking beer. Little lacing remained behind.

There was a light malt aroma along with some sweet fruitiness.
Aroma bit grainy as well

Taste was much lighter than I had thought.

Very interesting flavor.
I can taste the caramel malt of amber, but its all behind the Belgian yeast flavor. Slight white pepper, slight coriander. Hop bitterness is subtle at the end and lingers slightly. I do get a bread like sensation which plays nicely with the hop linger. Some real fruitiness here, but not really sweet at all.

Mouth feel was light to medium and I found this to be extremely drinkable.

I really enjoyed this beer.

(Did have another later with dinner.)

08-08-2008 13:52:44 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of boralyl


3.83/5  rDev -5.9%

A - Pours one finger of frothy head that dissipates quickly with no noticeable lacing. It has a clear amber appearance with lots of carbonation bubbles throughout.

S - A fruity smell, can make out apricots, banana and some toasted malts.

M - A lighter bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation. Has a smoother feeling to it.

T - The taste opens up with a mix of fruits including banana and lemon. It closes with a clove spiciness similar to a hefeweizen that balances the fruit flavors.

A good attempt by an American brewery at a Belgian style. They succeed very well in re-creating the style, I'd reccomend it.

08-08-2008 02:19:46 | More by boralyl
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%

On tap at Tyler's in Durham:

Draft arrives in its own snazzy gold-rimmed tumbler, sporting a clear amber body with fine-bubbled rivulets of active carbonation. A solid cap of ivory foam retains at a creamy sheet, leaving a bit of coarse, webby lacing (briefly) on the glass.

Smell is sweet and malty with a fruity note.

Taste is sweet and pale-malty with plenty of yeast and spiciness. A tangy, juicy note rises as the drink warms a bit, along with a silky touch of banana.

Medium in body and slick with fine, subtle carbonation that works very well to lighten and freshen Rare Vos. Superb drinkability.

08-07-2008 01:44:18 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Pours amber in color with reddish hues. An impressive two inch head forms on the pour and manages to stick around for awhile. Smell is yeasty, bready and a bit musty. Taste is more of they yeasty and bready experience, but there's a slight metallic flavor as well. Not sure where that is coming from. Very highly carbonated. I'll let this one sit for awhile and warm up, hopefully the carbonation will die down a bit. Decent beer, but not overly complex by any means.

08-06-2008 00:36:38 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of kinger


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

This came across as a nice example of a Belgium Amber, even though I'm relatively new to the style this is a solid beer. Pour was an intense copper with abundant head and lacing, both of which lasted for the entire experience. Constant carbonation is visible. The aroma came across similar to other Belgian styles that I have had, in fact it smelled similar to a saison. I believe it is the yeast that produces this unique aroma and flavor. Somewhat spicy and hoppy, there was a definite presence of sweet malts, perhaps a touch of caramel. The flavor is good although a bit weak in my opinion when compared to the aroma. Malty with nice overtones of spices and fruits, there is a well deserved hop finish in the flavor that is especially nice. Tasty and complex a truly enjoyable beer.

08-01-2008 12:31:47 | More by kinger
Photo of Slynger


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Rare Vos pours a hazy deep sunny-orange color with an ecru colored, big, bursting lid of Belgianesque fluffy fineness.

Nose is sweetly and tartly fruity with red apples and apricots, solidly yeasty with clove spiciness.

Medium bodied and super soft with lots of pillowy Belgian style carb. Tastes like it smells, little bit sweet and pleasantly tart fruits of above with lots of yeast, some light clove spiciness, and light earthy bitterness.

This is a damn good beer that I am downing with supreme please. Quite tasty, though not super complex, but the carbonation/feel rivals Belgian productions.

08-01-2008 05:49:51 | More by Slynger
Photo of Stonebreaker


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%

Appearance: Amber with a weizen like head. Sticks around.

Smell: That familiar Belgian aroma, only a little faint.

Taste: My first beer of the style but a definite let down, I don't think I like the Ommegang abbey ale or this one as much as other Belgians because they just aren't sweet enough for my taste. The flavor is malts and Belgian yeast produced esters, lightly sweet, more bitter than I would expect. Less flavorful than the Belgian Strong Dark ale, to be expected I suppose.

Mouthfeel: OK

Drinkability: Had the dunkelweizen at Piece brewpub again last night. That was far superior to this one, on the drinkability scale. Good, but I'd take the Hennepin over this one any day.

07-28-2008 01:36:34 | More by Stonebreaker
Photo of jdoncbus


4/5  rDev -1.7%

12 oz bottle poured into Piraat Tulip. Amber color, beige-one finger head consisting of small bubbles, active carbonation, with lacing that falls apart quickly.

Aroma is banana bread, walnut, sweet yeast, and caramel-toasty malt. Can also make out notes of pear, pepper, & berry.

The crispness of the beverage comes forth initially, where upon the palate tastes sour raisin, sweet yeast, grass, lemon, & tootsie roll malt. The mouth is left dry and tart with a slight boozy, burn.

An enjoyable nightcap to 800 miles of driving over a twelve hour span. Ommegang continues to please.

07-20-2008 05:20:19 | More by jdoncbus
Photo of Vixie


3.38/5  rDev -17%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance was nice, poured a good solid two finger head. It had a very deep copper color, was a bit cloudy, but I liked the look of it.

Smell at first reminded me of bread, then the fruit came in. To me it smelled most of bananas, the overall effect was of banana bread.

Taste at first was very subtle, seemed to get sharper as it warmed. Definitely a mix of fruity and spicy, hard to put my figner on any one distinct flavor. Bit of cloves mixed in for sure, overall fairly well balanced.

Mouthfeel was nothing that stood out as being outstanding, but not bad either.

Drinkability wasn't bad, I do suggest letting this one warm slightly to bring our more of the flavors. Not as complex or as strong as other beers of this type I've had, but has enough going for it to make it a nice beer. Probably wouldn't go out of my way for it, but if offered it, would gladly drink more.

07-13-2008 17:24:34 | More by Vixie
Photo of BucBasil

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Appearance: Poured from the 750mL bottle into a large snifter. The beer is a brown color at first glance, but when held to light it reveals a cloudy reddish orange color. Head is 3 and a half fingers thick, slightly off-white, and with excellent retention.

Smell: Light fruits, but not hoppy - more like sweet - including green apple, tangerine, and pear. Somewhat yeasty as well with some light sugars detectable in the mix.

Taste: This reminds me somewhat of a Belgian dubbel, with many of the fruity, brown sugary characteristics of the style. Maltiness comes in the form of biscuits, but blended, much like a Fig Newton. Sweet, but in no way cloying, and nicely balanced throughout. Midpalate in nicely spicy with cinnamon and clove. Finishes spiced again with more fruit notes. A good interpretation of a Belgian style by an American brewery. Actually tastes Belgian. Refreshing.

07-13-2008 06:40:54 | More by BucBasil
Photo of Nipitato


4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Amber hue topped with a thin though very thick, moussy head. Very cloudy and turbid.

S: Grainy malt pils base is good Clove and spice (coriander among others) are readily noticeable. Fruity citrus aromas are also detectable. A very nice balanced aroma.

T: Yeasty and malty/grainy. Some citrus fruit esters but they take a second seat to spicy and clove like flavors. Good subtle bitter finish that is just slightly sour.

MF: A nice creamy mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish.

D, notes:This beer has great drinkability. Very tasty and well balanced. Can Ommegang do no wrong?

07-11-2008 16:42:17 | More by Nipitato
Photo of FSUmac


3.5/5  rDev -14%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet....

Appearance: Pours a nice deep reddish brown with a 1.5 finger head. Nice retention.

Smell: Yeasty, malty. I get a hint of fruit (plum, cherries).

Taste: Not what I was expecting based on the smell. Very bready and spicy at first. I can taste the sweetness of the malt all over the tongue. Very dry finish with a sour, but pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Not a bad beer at all and definitely unique in my beer experience. Not something I would drink 6 of, but I do think one after dinner would be quite nice. The alcohol is very well hidden. Very good Ommegang!

07-07-2008 02:35:56 | More by FSUmac
Photo of Pencible


4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

This poured a slightly hazy bronze with lots of tan head. It smelled like citrus and wild floral hops with wild Belgian yeast, and no noticeable malt. It tasted very potent, more sweet than bitter, like earthy wheat mixed with wild floral hops, light honey malt, and some mulled spices. It was thick with some carbonation, and had a smooth bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a very clean and well constructed beer, that wasn't overpowering in its Belgian flavoring. I definitely enjoyed this.

07-07-2008 01:43:19 | More by Pencible
Photo of CHADMC3


4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

Pours a deep copper with lively carbonation bubbles and an abundant white head giving way to a dense lacing.

Sweet citrus aroma with yeasty bread quality. Further inspection brings out orange zest and other lighter fruits. Spice is mild in the aroma and tough to specifically identify.

Excellent spiced yeast flavor and again sweet citrus flavors with hints of apple. Spices likely include coriander and other peppery qualities. Perhaps a very mild hop presence at the finish.

The spice provides the perfect bite to offset the sweet characteristics of this beer to the extent it is apparent on the palate. Generous carbonation, but lighter bodied.

Rare Vos is a treat to the palate and a beer I could enjoy for a while with a few friends. There are numerous flavors and qualities that leave you seeking another sip to find more to enjoy.

07-06-2008 03:20:09 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of phantomwyse


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

A: Nectarine orange color, lathery head, trails of carbonation weaving up like smoke from the bottom.

S: Sweet, fruit preserves. Dark grapes, dry hay-like, yeast.

T: Dried fruits, apricot and plum, old grass, fermented grapes, flat bread.

M: Medium/light. Tight carbonation, somewhat oily and then fades to dry and tart.

D: The big bottle will do me.

07-02-2008 16:50:09 | More by phantomwyse
Photo of PBBC

New York

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Beer Pours a nice orange-brown... head begins high but settles low with a little bit of lace.

Aroma is of biscuit and sour apples... but also of peaches, nice fresh peaches.

Taste is surprisingly smooth... strong wheat presence... crisp crackers... light honey, peach, and cherries,

Excellent beer... I paired it with a spicy pasta dish: Clams in a roasted tomato and cayenne pepper sauce. The beer lifted the heat off the center off the palate and pushed it to the sides of the palate... preparing the tongue for the next bite and sip.

Great drinkability. Would buy again as a dinner beer.

07-02-2008 03:54:58 | More by PBBC
Photo of gfreed


4.65/5  rDev +14.3%

Another wonderful beer form Ommegang! The aroma that erupts both from the bottle and from the puffy, long-lasting head is full of bread, bananas, peaches, cloves and leaves. The color is a beautiful amber-mahogany, with a bit white head that settles down to about an inch and stays there. There's plenty of fruit in the taste, but the most striking thing to me was how smooth it was, and how rich it tasted down to the last drop. After the bottle was empty, I found myself breathing out of the top of bottle just so I wouldn't lose the smell of the beer. You won't go wrong with this, at any time of year.

06-29-2008 18:24:38 | More by gfreed
Photo of paulthebeerguru


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

Rare Vos
750mL brown bottle (Caged and Corked)

A: snifter. nice amber color, tons of reddish hues. light off-white head with good lacing and head retention.

S: solid fruit aroma, mostly apples. nice crystal malts, with a good amount of spices from the Belgian yeast.

T: nice apple and cinnamon flavors. almost an applesauce flavor. the crystal malts really shine through in the beer, and the Belgian yeast just brings out the spices so well.

M: smooth and creamy, with a medium body. wonderful finish.

D: really nice beer for a Belgian amber, but probably my least favorite from Ommegang. Just not a huge fan of ambers.

06-29-2008 01:34:54 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of Troy518

New York

3.4/5  rDev -16.5%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Perhaps it was the Ommegang Hennepin that I drank before hand, or perhaps the fact that I am brewing a porter while writing this but this beer seems to lack the same punch that other Ommegang's offerings deliver. For a belgian dark ale, this beer tastes very thin and almost watery. The flavor is ok, however, there are other belgian dark ales that I would prefer over this one. I don't pick up as much spiciness as I thought I would or even as I remember from drinking this in the past. The fruitiness is very subtle in my opinion.

($2.70, 12oz, Oliver's Bev., Albany, NY)

06-26-2008 21:33:13 | More by Troy518
Photo of gonzo46and2


3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Bottle Pour: Pours amber. Big bannana and corriander yeast aroma. The yeast smells and tastes much more like the strains used in Hefeweizens rather than most belgian beers I've had. Still very good. Lively carbonation. Fruit, malt, wheat-yeast.... goes down very smooth.

06-24-2008 03:57:50 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of CrellMoset


4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured into a chalice - reviewed waaay back on March 16th, but I'm just now gettin' it up.

Appearance: Honey amber, lively carbonation, a thick, rocky head with good retention. Thick lacing, but somewhat runny. Haze present in one glass from yeast. Gorgeous.

Smell: Fruits - plum and grapes - earthy must, and a sweet, grassy grain dominate. Peppery cloves and other mild, earthy spices from the hops are present in the background.

Taste: Cloves again, with other peppery spices are very noticeable, a strong grainy, layered maltiness and fruit notes - pear, plum, and a very strong banana ester in the aftertaste - round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Foamy, the sweetness isn't cloying, but it's crisp and full. Great.

Drinkability: Outstanding, low in alcohol (6.5% abv), great subtle flavor interactions, and ridiculously inexpensive for its quality.

I live for this kinda stuff - domestic interpretations of great Belgian styles. It's very complex, very well-balanced, and very drinkable. Sly fox indeed.

06-24-2008 01:25:51 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Slightly hazy golden amber color with a big foamy head that reduces to a froth that holds on. Moderate lacing.

Smells very yeasty and spicy, with clove and citrus.

Everything in the nose comes through in the taste and then some. Very spicy and sweet up front with a crisp finish that leaves the mouth slightly dry. Lots of clove and fruit in the flavor. Good level of maltiness and perfectly hopped.

Mouthfeel is a tad harsh and prickly. High carbonation levels even after a good pour. Nice warming alcohol effect usually only felt with a higher ABV.

Haven't had a beer from this brewery yet that wasn't delicious.

06-21-2008 19:26:31 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of hustlesworth


4.93/5  rDev +21.1%

time to get a pseudo-belgian fix once again

A- pours a hazy color of red ripe papaya flesh up to incandescent light as it is night time and that's all i have. sunlight would be the same except a bit duller, a deep variety orange and reddish orange and persimmon. spectacular ecru head, active and puffy with waves and curley-cues of lace everywhere, great retention, and an all around good look. not as dark as i expected, but a very nice saturated color.

S- tropical fruity yeast and toasty caramel malt. banana, mango, papaya, clementine, pineapple, cherry, apple, pear, you name it and i bet it's in here. a bit of lemony noble hop grassiness comes through but for me it's all about the yeast (again). great depth to these microbes, the have a spicy level as well with clove, allspice, and white pepper with a hint of nutmeg backed up by a pleasant sour cheese aroma that adds another level to this already complex nose.

T- taste is no disappointment either, very fruity at first before an abrupt change to very dry, then to a nice flavorful noble hop bitterness, as the toasty bready malt blends with the sharp grassiness. it's hard to decipher the fruit flavors, as the website states, they are elusive and only stick around for a mere 1/2 second before morphing into other flavors. the catch 22 of the thing is that i have to keep drinking to work out the tastes and i only have one bottle. hrm, shoula bought a 750ml. here goes: banana, orange peel, lemon peel, grapefruit peel, apple skin, plum skin, dried strawberry, dried fig, date, white raisin, dry white wine, but not exactly a chardonnay, maybe chablis? i don't know, fuck wine. sorry wine, i didn't mean that. funky yeast spiciness moves in zingy peppery fashion with a paradise grains zip and a clove zap. extraordinary toasty golden brown biscuit finish with just enough bitterness to really make it stand out.

MF- nearly full and totally juicy, all the fruity flavors impart a real natural fructose feeling but before any sugary feeling has a chance to take hold, they are squeegied away by a near perfect balance of dryness, toastiness, and acidity. carbonation is a little on the high end for me but that does little to effect the supreme feeling of this brew. liquid fruit cocktail with a splash of dry wine.

D- a few non-connoisseurs that i've talked to (not that i am one...YET) have expressed a sincere dislike for this beer and i couldn't agree less. as far as american belgians go, i put it at the top of the list, or very close to it, and i really feel as if i'm drinking something imported. it has that taste you only get from the real deal AND the boldness and audacity that you rarely find outside of america. a perfect pairing of old world tradition and new world ingenuity and a definite 'members only' spot in my fridge.

06-20-2008 05:43:28 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a chalice.

It looks great with an amber color, slight haze and small beige head. The aroma is candy sugar with some spice and a hint of lemon. The taste is crisp and clean with a mild sweetness and almost a tartness at the end. I thought it was very balanced and complex for an American brewed Belgian. It really coats your mouth and delivers a lingering and changing series of flavors.

This beer is smooth and easy to drink. And the relatively low alcohol (6.5%) for a Belgian means you can get in one or two more. I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

06-16-2008 23:05:22 | More by GJ40
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,657 ratings.