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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,770 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,770
Reviews: 1,080
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 120
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: 2,770 | Reviews: 1,080 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IrishAndSurly
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer a few times on tap served too cold in the Rare Vos glass at McKenzies in Minneapolis, but decided to buy a bottle of this to review it so I could do it at a proper temperature. The first time I had this beer I thought is was great; and I still do. One of my current favorites.

Poured from a bomber into a Surly pint glass (ok, kill me now) at about 50F, produced a thick white head of about three inches. Amber / orange in color with slight fogginess and a lot of tiny bubbles. The head hangs around for a long while with medium lacing.

Smells of sweet malts, sour black cherry and ripe melon with a bit of alcohol presence and herbal hoppy back notes.

Slightly malty to start off with, but also dries the tongue rather fast, hops are present but do not dominate the somewhat dryer malts and fruit / slight spice flavor. Very well balanced herbal / dry fruit flavor.

Very smooth to drink, perfect balance between thick and thin, feels great on the tongue, good level of carbonation. The carbonation does not get in the way of enjoying this beer what so ever.

I can drink this beer all night, and have a few times. Very well crafted and easy to drink.

IrishAndSurly, May 14, 2008
Photo of generallee
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one "Sly Fox". It has a beautiful red/ orange amber color with a hazy body. Tiny bubbles form a thick foamy head that has a light tan color. An inviting aroma of sweet floral orange and spices mingle with doughy yeast and malts. On the tongue there is a complex sweet, fruity and spicy character with caramel malts and doughy yeast mixing with dark cherries, spices and orange peel. Hops add some light bitterness and dryness to the finish. The palate is full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. It is smooth and very drinkable. Outstanding!

generallee, May 09, 2008
Photo of Taffle
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a lush haze of deep amber with a nice lasting, frothy head.

Sweet aromas of fruitiness and mildly hoppy.

Great blend of subtle fruit and hop make this amber ale taste very unique and delicious. It's blegian style richness follows with a smooth rich mouthfeel and finish.

Overall a perfect beer for a variety of meals/occasions. No problems enjoying a four pack of this treat.

Taffle, May 06, 2008
Photo of Redwood21
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

let me start by saying how impressed and surprised i was by this beer. its a lot lighter in body but still full flavored.

A: great, head is sticky and lasts with a hazy maple syrup look

S:fragrant fruit and flowers but with a hop backbone

T: so light bodied yet full flavored there is a fruit taste with an almost herbal tone its hard for me to pick it all out, i just know its very good

so smooth and tasty, i could drink this all day


Redwood21, May 04, 2008
Photo of Twerknasty
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange hue, off white head that lasts until you're finished. Slight bit of marmalade, pancake syrup and sugar dominate the nose, followed by a true Belgian nose that has some bananas, earth and some soft floral hops. Palate is quite creamy, but with enough carbonation to not make it feel viscous at all. Belgian candied sugar controls the palate, with creamy/earthy malts. Good and quite drinkable

Twerknasty, May 02, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into my Chimay goblet. It pours a hazy golden with a big, white head that faded into just a thin white layer on the top of the beer. The aroma has hints of vanilla and apricot. The taste is mildly sweet with nothing that really sticks out about its taste profile. There is a slight tangy sensation at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and is a bit more carbonated than I had expected. While this might seem like a ho hum beer by my review, these 5 judging categories just don't do it justice. There really needs to be a sixth category for balance. This has to be the most balanced beer I've ever drunk. There really isn't any flavor that I can really distinguish. It's really amazing.

hwwty4, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a cloudy, golden body with a thick, off-white head with nice retention and lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: Smells fairly bitter with lemon undertones. Slightly alcoholic smell that reminded me of tequila.

T: A fairly bitter, but smooth, taste with a slightly malty aftertaste.

M: Pretty smooth overall; a little on the thin side, but still very good.

D: An ok drinkable beer. Feels very nice on the palette, but the tequila characteristic of the beer took a little bit away from it for me. I think that someone else might be able to handle a sixer of these as it is a fairly rounded brew, but I just could not get over the tequila aftertaste.

maddogruss, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of praufs01
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Cloudy orangey/amber color with a creamy off white head.

Aroma - Grassy, hay like hop aroma.

Palate - Fizzy carbonation.

Flavor - Smooth light orange citrus taste with note of clove in the finish.

Final thoughts - Nice brew. Very mild.

praufs01, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of Vancer
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alrighty, let's see what this Sly Fox has - and the pour starts off on the right foot. Semi-hazy orange amber with a very nice ivory head gently floating on top. Sticky lace coats my Corsendonk tulip.

Sweet fruits surface in the aroma, mixed amongst the Belgium yeast. A rather dry Belgium style brew, the fruits don't make much a statement in the taste. A bit of peppery spice help add some pizzazz, but all things considered - this won't be one I go for again.

Vancer, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of Biscuit033
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy light amber with tons of head that dissipates quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S: Spices dominate. Mainly coriander and pepper with some bready yeast as well. There is also some lemon.

T: Lemon, sweet and tangy malts and wheat, and some sourness.

M: Good carbination that helps layer the flavors and a nice crisp, dry finish.

D: This is immensely drinkable for its style and ABV.

Biscuit033, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of currysage1
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy red-beige color, huge four finger fluffy cream colored head, some lacing down the glass.

Intricately fruity smelling, some alcohol, and some sweet malt.

Lots of layers to this one, starts with vanilla and brown sugar, goes to a quick snap of light fruits with some hops mixed in, slightly peppery, then moves on to grain, then malted grain.

Mouthfeel is very light, lots of fine carbonation, very pleasing.

Drinkability was very high with this one, light enough to be sessionable, wonderful complexity of flavors without being bogged down by alcohol or thickness.

currysage1, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Big head that sticks around for a long time, ruddy coloration with energetic looking carbonation.

Smell- Fruity and malty.

Taste- Not overly sweet but with significant sweet notes, medium sweet. Fruity, perhaps a bit of apricot?

Mouthfeel- Solid on the palate, perhaps a widge more watery than I would have thought.

Drinkability- A solid brew especially for the 5.99 price. Worth a revisit.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of BBM
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a burnt orange color, cloudy, with a thin sudsy white head atop it. The aroma was fruity (apples) with a hint of cloves and other spices.

I wasn't overly impressed by this one, but it's not a bad brew. The apples and subtle spices hit up front, along with a nice amout of toasty malt. Bitterness is kept to a low, as expected. There's a slight warming alcohol in the finish. I'm a huge fan of Ommegang, but this beer was not up to par with their other efforts, in my opinion. Still, it's better than many other American takes on Belgian ales I've had.

BBM, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of scottbrew4u
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A soft pour brings a pillowy white head that settles down quickly.
Some yeast poured out to make this a bit hazy. Color is amber with a glow of orange. Good clinging lace on the glass.

Floral and herbal hops, lots of fruity esters from yeast with vanilla and banana notes. Bready and toffee malts noticeable.

Smooth carbonation and medium body. Flavor is a balance of sweet roasted malts, floral hop bitterness and warm belgian yeast with the right amount of fruity esters. Some alcohol warmth becomes noticeable as you get through to the end.

This beer has excellent flavor and balance and does not come off too sweet or dry. Can easily have a few of these.

scottbrew4u, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: Poured a slightly hazy coppery amber color with about a 1/2" puffy white head. Good head retention and light lacing.

S: Aromas of malt, dates, and brown sugar.

T: Complex malt flavors come together fantastically as they flood the taste buds with the familiar Belgian ale taste. Oh yeah - this isn't authentic Belgian ale! I find it hard to tell the difference. Flavors are a touch dry with hints of candy sugar sweetness and some interesting fruit and spice flavors. Finish is malty and a bit dry with a fair amount of linger.

M&D: Mouthfeel is pretty good with a medium body despite the lighter flavors. Carbonation is light but steady adding to the lighter mouth feel. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

SIRIUS2, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of dnichols
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a caged and corked 750 ml bottle into a chalice. I received this wonderful treat from my first out of state BA trade with bonezx86...Thanks.

A: It poured a cloudy amber body with a robust two finger white frothy head. The head was creamy, sticky and receded slowly to a shallow cover over the liquid. It generated a clingy lacing that left spotty remenents down the side of the glass.

S: It emitted a bready, malty aroma with white fruits (pears and apples) and spices (cloves, white pepper).

T: It was creamy, sweet, bready and spicy. It reminded me of drinking apple cider spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. It was smooth and sweet malty on the front with a frutiy spicy back. The hops are recessive as is the alochol. There was a dry and peppery finsish.

M: It was full-bodied with a creamy, smooth profile, and it ended spicy and fruity with a lingering tangy fruity after taste.

D: It was a well balanced and surprising brew. Lots of spices, rich body and moderate ABV make this a great session brew.

dnichols, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber with a thick white head. The smell came out of the bottle as soon as the cork came out. Smelled a little funky. Some grassy and musty scents took over a slight malt presence. Tasted light and fruity with a slight straw taste and some bitterness. This one also got better as it warmed. The mouthfeel was thin and dry and works as a great session for me. Another great belgian inspired ale from Ommegang.

CrazyMacHarris99, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of tmitch75
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy rusty orange color with thick head and sticky lace.

Sweet fruity smell, I can't quite put my finger on it, with that requisite Belgian yeast aroma.

Sweet taste, like caramel apples with earthy/spicy hops. Sweet and bitter balance each other well.

Smooth and crisp mouthfeel with dry finish.

I love it. Very well balanced. Complex yet approachable. A good intro to Belgian style beers for the newbies (and still good for the veterans).

Tasted on 2/19/08.

tmitch75, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, caged and corked. Brick/terracotta color, crystal clear atleast for the first pour. A lot of carbonation and a bright white fine head that hangs around.

Spices: clove, cinnamon, corriander in the nose.

Spicy peppercorn, fruit (pear, apple, etc), clove and anise. A good amount of carbonation in the mouth too, fizz assaults the tounge. No yeast or bready characteristics in the first pour, but by my last glass, a good amound of sediment improved this, in my opinion. Additional flavors of yeast and buttery bread really make this a winner.

Drinkability is there, for sure. I could easily be pursuaded that this is a true belgian, not a US micro. Great job!

SurlyDuff, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Fuel and Fuddle, Pittsburgh, PA (Oakland).

Poured a copper color with an off-white head. Served to me in a normal pint glass and not a tulip or other preferred glassware, which might account for almost no head or aroma. I was tempted to rate lower on both counts, but did not due to the pint glass. Keep that in mind when considering my review.

Up Front I taste a big malty, caramel/molasses sweetness followed by some fruitiness that reminds me of cherry. Next comes just a little peppery yeastiness. It finishes with some alcohol warming, which surprised me for the ABV of the beer.

Pretty good mouthfeel.

This brew is a little sweet for me to drink a ton of.

Hojaminbag, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of Winter
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rare Vos pours copper in color with shades of peach. Soapy, off-white head. Aroma has hints of malt, Belgian yeast, some spiciness, candied sugar and an ale fruitiness to it. The mouthfeel is medium in body with sharp carbonation from the bottle conditioning. Very complex taste for an amber. Subdued maltiness with a spicy middle. Yeast give the middle a uniqueness that's hard to describe. Ale fruitiness emerges toward the back and leads into a mineral/seltzer-like finish.

I enjoyed this, but it wasn't quite as malty as I was expecting. Still it was a good beer, and a nice Belgian take on the amber style. I have a feeling Rare Vos would pair even better with food than by itself.

Winter, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of jamie2dope
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I frequent the Ommegang beers more than just about any other brand. They are cheap, easily accessible, and about as close as you can get when it comes to an American brewery taking on Belgian styles (Allagash coming in at a close second IMO). Nine times out of ten I go with Hennepin, Ommegang or Three Philosophers, but rarely this one (or the witbier). The first time I tried it I don't remember being all that impressed, but with this new batch, I decided it was time for another visit. Poured in to my Stella Artois glass a very nice strawberry blond, with a large, foamy white head. The color is quite striking, giving off a sort of glow. Aroma reveals a melange of fruit such as orange, lemon, nectarine, and also a pinch of spice lingering in the background. Flavor begins with the citrus fruits mentioned above, with a nice yeasty finish. Malt is also worth mentioning, as it is well balanced with the light hops. Mouthfeel is lush, nicely carbonated, and very refreshing. Although the ABV isn't all that high, I could feel a bit of warmth after a few sips. I still could drink two bottles of this without too much of a problem. I am now quite happy I came back to this one. It seems like the most underrated of the beers from Ommegang.

jamie2dope, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of davidt
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber red with a nice foamy head that lingers for a long time. It has a very light bready and spice aroma. The beer had just enough spice in the taste to make it interesting, with a slightly sweet, caramel malt body and a light hop bite at the end. At 6.5% ABV it's quite drinkable. Overall a very easy drinking beer.

davidt, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured into a chalice a nice light orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, minimal lacing though. The nose is malty, with some slight yeast, tangy (citrus/grapefruit/grapes), with some slight spice and caramel. The taste is malty/yeasty, I really enjoy the tangyness (grapey) tones this brew has, slight spice/caramel. Medium body, a well-rounded, complex brew. Very drinkable, another very tasty brew from Ommegang, highly recommended.

Wasatch, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of dmtaylor
2.45/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Am I the only guy who doesn't like this stuff?

The aroma was enticing -- spicy hops, a little grassy, earthiness from Belgian yeast. Cloudy amber in color with big head. But then in the flavor... my first impression was, tastes sort of like Spaghetti-os (tomato)! It has a strange vegetal flavor that is hard to place, and I find undesirable. Other than that, it is certainly earthy and spicy in flavor as one might expect, and packs a little alcohol punch.

Overall, as far as Belgian styles, there are infinite others that are miles above this example, so I cannot recommend it.

dmtaylor, Feb 08, 2008
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,770 ratings.