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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,968 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,968
Reviews: 1,103
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%
Wants: 143
Gots: 354 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,968 | Reviews: 1,103 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ommegang "Rare Vos". On tap @ The Gramercy Tavern

The body is dark amber, hazy, and streaked with intermittent streams of little bubbles. Presented in a 16 oz. pint glass, filled to the brim. No head as served. It produces a thin film of sparse lacing.

Malty aromas waft over subtle grape and blueberry fruity notes culminating in a spicy tinge of cloves.

Biscuity and grainy malt flavor plunges into the mouth in a full bodied wave speckled with flecks of spicy yeast -- peppery, grassy, and pleasantly dry. Subtle fruity esters surface next, coalescing into a gustatory tapestry of chewy berries and and mildly bitter hops. Very well balanced and complex. The flavor progresses in a cascade of sensations from full bodied, to fruity, to bitter. Quite delightful really.

Full bodied but not thick. Oily but not slippery. Somehow it maintains a pleasantly round and robust body. The moderate carbonation works well to give the beer some backbone.

Very drinkable. No one flavor is that intense, but in conjunction they work a beautiful harmony, tugging and pulling on various aspects of the drinking experience.

Top fermented. This is a sublime Belgian Dark Ale, really quite different from others I've tried. Well balanced and flavorful.

Photo of ne0m00re
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.

A: Light honey with golden hues. Poured with a thick head that quickly died to a medium, off-white film and lace.
S: A rustic and earthy bouquet of toasted bread, banana, and cranberry. Definitely Belgian.
T: Almost exactly what it smells like. However, there is a strong bitter/tart finish that lingers with the toasted bread.
M: Thin, but frothy and actually a bit refreshing.
D: Excellent, even compared to Belgians in general.

This is a very rustic Belgian ale, almost like a saison, and a well-balanced beer.

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

A - Poured into a tulip glass. very nice amber color, slightly hazy, nice head, a lot of effervescence.

S - Yeasty, ripe fruit aroma.

T - A delicate balance of fruit, especially pear in the finish along with a peppery/spicy background.

M - Medium body with a lot of carbonation.

D - I really enjoyed this one, wish I had more than one.

Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: hazy, rich amber-orange color with two fingers of light tan head. Lots of effervescence. Looks good!

Smell: subtle but deep fruity aroma. Character is mostly of plums and some cherry. Nice, but I'd really like to have more of it.

Taste: very nice. Light but complex, there are plenty of nice malt flavors here; plums and cherries, of course, but also raisins and even a hint of peach. Subtle, but delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with mega creaminess from a good level of carbonation. Yum.

Drinkability: quite drinkable indeed. I would call the flavor very good, though not outstanding, but as a complete package it is a tasty treat.

Photo of omnigrits
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and cage bottle into a stem tulip results in the expected frothy white head that subsides after a while to leave plenty of residue on the inside of the glass. Strong Belgian yeast aroma with more than a hint of barley sugar and a touch of hops. Taste is slightly tangy, sweet, very nice. Strong mouthfeel. I'll be buying this one again for sure. Wouldn't mind ageing one for a year for comparison.

Photo of u2carew
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Long neck. Consumed 1/15/10

A) Pours with a big, white, foamy head. Active upward carbonation. Slight haze. Copper in color. Lacing is thin and sticky.
S) Malty and dark fruit. Caramel. Pear. Apple. Light notes of alcohol.
T) Malts are noticeable but not entirely robust. Just a touch of sour in the mix. Some spicy tones. Black pepper. Tree fruit - apple, banana.
M) Fizzy, a little more than anticipated. Dry. Crisp. Medium body.
D) A nice Belgian amber. I'd have another.

Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork and caged bottle into a tulip. Beer is dark brown and hazy. Forms a medium sized off white / tannish head of small soapy bubbles that leave a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate and steady and made up of medium bubbles that rise quickly through the beer.

Slight caramel aroma, not much else.

Lots of carbonation in the mouth, sweet but muted. Beer is medium in body, carbaontion makes the body seem bigger. There is a roasty / sugary / caramel flavor in there. No aftertaste or real bitterness. Overall its pretty good.

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

Pours a hazy golden amber with a medium tan head. Smell is of Belgian yeast strain. Taste is dry and crisp sweetness up front, with a slightly tart and tangy middle, and a estery yeasty finish. Surprising amount of bitterness for a Belgian Ale. Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly high carbonation from bottle conditioning. Very good beer, just short of an A-, I would get this again though.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.47/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, orangish-golden color with a huge head, fluffy and off-white.
Smell is malt, spices, orange and wheat.
Taste is same as the smell, always a good thing, with an apple tartness and slight alcohol note.
Medium bodied and slightly warming with a lingering aftertaste of wheat and malt. A solid offering but not as good overall as the other Ommegang products I've enjoyed in the past.

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

A - poured into a pint glass. Medium amber color, slightly hazy, small foamy head.

S - caramel malts, apple cider, clove. yeasty brett is present but not too funky. balances out nicely, all in all.

T - everything from the smell, bathed in a slightly sweet background. (think honey ale; not anything based on cane sugar or corn) additional fruits appear on top of the predominant apple flavor.

M - starts crisp, medium body, finishes dry. None of these feelings is super strong. expected more carbonation but kinda like it as is.

D - pleasant, moderately complex, but not too strong. Very drinkable.

Photo of fropones
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice light caramel amber color with a big airy ecru head.

S - Clove, coriander, a nice fruity smell from the yeast.

T - Clove covered apples and pears dotted with white pepper. Tastes kind of like a cross between a wit and a hefe. Some bubble gum mixed in here as well.

M - Nice medium body with good carbonation.

D - As I get further down the glass something in the flavor seems to be making it a bit tougher to drink. Not quite sure what it is. Still pretty refreshing, but I think maybe a bit to sweet once the glass starts going down.

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a slightly hazy orange color with a short head.

Smell: yeast, pears, and apples are most notable.

Taste: caramel, big yeast flavors, ripe plums, pears, and golden apples. Bitterness is moderate but nicely balancing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp from start to finish with some mild dryness late.

Drinkability: very easy to quaff this beer. This is a beer you can drink all day long.

Photo of Jesstyr
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a La Trappe chalice and paired with a cheese tasting board. Overall a good beer, but not as great as I expected

a: Honey/pare-like appearance, hazy with very little head, but excellent lacing.

S: strong yeast and mild honey.

T: very strong yeasty flavor, with hints of fruit, but very subtle. This is where this beer lacked to me, but it earned another try.

M/D: dry with light carbonation. Needs a little more sweet/smooth for me, but this beer goes down easy.

Photo of Foxtrot
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on some Rare Vos. I'm huge fan of Ommegang's offerings wanted to try something new.

Pours a cloudy light amber/peach with an abundant foam cap. Retention lasted for a few minutes then dwindled down to a light white foam along the edges. Interesting color, haven't seen anything like it before.

Aroma is all over the place. Bready malts, cool hops, coriander, spicy yeast, cloves, ripe green apple, and an underlying nuttiness. This is a true feast for the olfactory bulb!

This was a hard beer to review to perfectly honest. Luckily, I enjoyed the challenge, and it made me like the beer even more. The flavors pop up very quickly then crash and wither away. Took a while to sort it all out. The coriander and spicy yeasty linger for a bit, mid palate sweet malt beigns to take hold then moves to floral notes and pepper. All in all, a very good tasty Belgian that is the pinnacle of the style, even if it was slightly difficult to grasp.

Mouthfeel was medium, but leaning toward the thin side.

The drinkability on the beer is scary! I found myself about halfway through a 750 in about 20 minutes, and I'm generally of the sipping over a long period type of drinker.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange amber color with a rich off-white head that hangs around for a good while before settling down and leaving some nice lacing.

Fruity aroma of apples and plums are prevalent upfront with light spices in the background.

Taste again showcases some nice fruity notes of apple and pear, maybe lighter notes of cherry and honey as well. Finish is slightly yeasty and spicy.

Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. A great combination of fruits and spices that makes for a nice light Belgian style ale. Nothing overwhelming, making this one a very easy drinker.

Photo of elgiacomo
2.86/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jul 12, 2009

12oz bottle. Pours light amber/orange with a big off-white head that retains well. Lots of lacing. Good-lookin' beer.

Aroma is fruity and yeasty.

Flavor is the same, but more subdued unfortunately.

Finish is very dry, almost watery and a bit soapy.

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

750ml split with my better half, served in Ommegang chalices

A - poured a little over a finger of loose off-white foam which quickly dissipated to a thin floating layer with some spotty lacing. the beer is quite hazy, golden/amber colored.

S - Mostly apples, bananas, yeast, some pepper.

T - Mostly he same as the nose, with the apples turning just a tad sour...tart might be the better word. Finishes with some grain before a big dry yeast finale.

M - Tons of carbonation with a thin to medium body. Finishes very dry and crackly.

D - All around good beer, easily drinkable and pleasant.

Photo of feelmefoam
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

Rare Vos pours a cloudy, muted peach color; basically a mixture of nice red, yellow, and oranges that shows some really interesting highlights when held up to the light. Puts up two fingers of thick, foamy, cream-colored head that hangs around a long time and leaves some thick and sticky lacing on the glass.

Has a nice, rich aroma of fruits (particularly apples, bananas, and plums) and some sweet spices. Very aromatic, you can smell the beer as soon as you pour it.

The taste mirrors the nose: fruitiness up front, followed by a nice malty sweetness and a little bit of hoppy spiciness that brings about a sweet, lingering flavor as the beer finishes.

Nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel, but not overly heavy. A nice mouthfeel for a Belgian style dark, the slight amounts of carbonation work together with the alcohol to leave a nice tingle in the mouth as you drink.

Overall a very nicely done Belgian Dark from Brewery Ommegang. Pretty damn drinkable, too, especially if you like sweet Belgian beers. I wouldn't have more than two in a night just because of the sweetness, but this is good stuff. I'll get it again.

Photo of Pahn
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at BXL East on 51st and 2nd, midtown Manhattan. BXL Cuvee is BXL Belgian Cafe's house beer, brewed exclusively for the cafe by Brewery Ommegang.

Poured into a Duvel Green tulip.

Appearance: 1 inch white head, dissipates quickly. Rings of lacing. Beer is a semi-translucent light amber.

Smell: Spicy and malty, with a strong note of orange peel and some licorice.

Taste: Mild licorice, orange peel, coriander, some pepperminty phenols, with a big bready finish. The taste delivers exactly what the (very inviting) smell promises, plus a bit more. The finish approaches yellow cake or pound cake. The beer is very spicy, with moderate carbonation and a well-balanced hop bite up front. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Good, relaxed carbonation, spiciness, and a warm, clean finish.

Drinkabilty: Excellent. Supremely refreshing, decent complexity of flavor, and a well masked ABV.

I was very impressed by this beer. I had just stopped into the cafe to try Duvel Green, but ended up liking the house beer more. Great beer for relaxing at a bar.

Photo of magine
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark copper color. Huge chunky off white head. Head settles to a lace layer and has some lacing.

Smells of yeast, bready; sour fruit, spicy.

Brew tastes sweet and fruity; but not overdone. Citrus, yeast and some peppery spice. Initially is lively on the tastebuds. Finishes very smooth and somewhat bitter.

This is a very well crafted balanced brew. Drinks very easy. A top notch brew from Ommegang - yet again.

Photo of kegger22
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ommegang Rare Vos is a Belgian dark ale, deep amber in color with a huge two inch, cream color head displaying very good retention.

The aroma is the mildewed smell that I find in a number of Belgians.

The taste is sweet fruit, pears up front and orange at the back of the throat. This is primarily a malty brew with a hops backbone and loads of carbonation to make it interesting.

The mouth feel is medium bodied, oily and as mentioned, highly carbonated.

The drinkability is very good, reasonable ABV and great taste, what's not to love?

As you can probably tell, I greatly enjoyed Rare Vos. I can tell you there will always be a full bottle in my cellar from now on. It's only sour note is aroma.

Photo of tzieser
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ah, Rare Vos. Great brew.

a: poured from a 12oz bottle into my Rare Vos glass I got at Brewery Ommegang. Crystal clear amber color with a one finger white head that dissipates pretty quickly into thin lacing around the glass.

s: very thin nose, possibly because my beer was cold, but the malts were still there, the belgian yeast stood out, with a faint hop aroma. good, but a little more subtle than i expected.

t: delicate malts up front, that have a distinct candy-like sweetness to them, which is quickly followed by a touch of hops and the signature Belgian yeast. alcohol isn't noticible. surprisingly light tasting for the alcohol.

m&d: smooth mouthfeel, drinkability is expectional. I've had a few pints of these at a bar in Cooperstown with my girlfriend, and decided it was one of the most sessionable Belgian-style ales in existence

Photo of joepais
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter produced a two finger white billowy head that turned into a nice lace. The body of the brew was a clear amber in color.

I got a big hit of Belgian yeast as I held the glass to my lips along with some clove thrown in for good luck. The flavor was rather pleasant slightly sweet fruity malts with enough hop bitters to make it really easy to drink. It had a medium to light feel in the mouth with good carbonation for me

It is a good brew easy to drink flavorful and it goes down smooth. I would buy it again without hesitation

Photo of irishking1977
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a random mixed six pack. I had Rare Vos before, but didn't find it particularly appealing. Revisiting it to see if things have changed.

A: Opaque golden bronze with a moderate white head that leaves a good amount of lacing. It reminds me of Unibroue's Maudite, which should be considered a compliment.

S: Fruit and fruit peel with hints of funky yeast. Kind of mellow.

T: A delicate balance of fruit, especially pear in the finish along with a peppery/spicy background. Some malt background with some floral notes as well. Virtually no bitterness at all. Hops might not have been part of this brew, but even so, this is still a pretty damn good beer.

M: Spritzy and effervescent with good solid moderate carbonation. Maintains its character and complexity as it warms.

D: Rare Vos seems to be a tweener; it could be a session brew, but it does boast an above average ABV at 6.5%. Not to mention, a complex beer is meant to be enjoyed, not drank to the point where the palate (and everything else) is numb.

Photo of Nightwielder
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was particularly good for a Belgian Dark Ale at a very reasonable price I must say. At 6.5% ABV, the pour on this one was an excellent spectacle with a very frothy head and a medium amber-bodied finish. This ale has kind of a tartness to it, but far from overbearing, and a good compliment to it's natural fruity tones. Despite being a somewhat bitter beer (which follows the trend of most ales), it is quite fruity and the mouthfeel is superb. Most importantly, the taste for the Rare Vos is decidedly above average for a strong amber ale.

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,968 ratings.