1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,874 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,874
Reviews: 1,085
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 126
Gots: 283 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rare Vos (Amber Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,874 | Reviews: 1,085 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tone
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/2 inch head with decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet earthy malts. There's a lot of hops noticeable. Fits the style, since it has a wide array of possible flavors. Smooth, crisp mouth feel with a high carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt and lots of hops. The bitterness level is strong, but not too overpowering. Overall, another really yummy beer from Ommegang - definitely worth a try!

Photo of tmoneyba
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy copper with a large frothy off-white head that was fully lasting with good lacing.

Solid yeasty fruit and spice aroma.

Medium body with a smooth texture.

Moderate sour fruit flavor with a smooth tart long finish.

Good drinkable spicy ale.

Photo of smcolw
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Very cloudy amber color. The head starts off well but recedes to a single layer. Leaves impressive lace on the glass.

There's an element of American pale ale smell to this beer. There is a distinct aroma of hops.

The Belgian yeast is the key taste here. Relatively thin with a very high level of carbonation. The hop flavor only shows up at the end. The alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

Photo of popery
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a very nice amber color with good to moderate lacing. I'm always a little bit suspect of small bottles of beers that I almost always see in large bottles, so the small bottle could be the problem here. That might make no sense if I knew a bit more about brewing, but I can only report what I see, and I saw a head dissipate very rapidly. Anyway, the smell is spicy and Belgian. It's a little muted, but there are good notes of dough, coriander, earth and light fruit, maybe apricots. The taste is quite good and a bit of an improvement on the aroma. Some lemon flavor makes itself known, along with more spicing and some background caramel. The feel is sparkly and nice, but it gets a tad sticky in an odd way. The finish is just a bit watery sticky, rather than full sticky if that makes any sense. I keep trying to like Ommegang more, but this one doesn't quite have me on the bandwagon as much as I would like.

Photo of rhinos00
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy copper. Produced a very healthy three fingers width of white head.

S- Combination of spices, malt, and little bits of citrus.

T- Initially a hint of sweetness hits the tongue. As the beer is consumed a pepper, citrus maltiness takes over providing for a nice finish.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation.

D- Very drinkable.

Overall, I'm starting to really like Ommegang's lineup of beers. This is another solid offering.

Photo of mtbbaboon
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 750ml bottle in Whole Foods. Pours a lighter shade of amber into my Ommegang glass. Has a real thick head that hangs around for a while before settling into a thinner ring. Leaves a small amount of lacing. Smells of fruit (orange?), spice and light malt. I can also smell a bit of the alcohol. It's got a nice spicy taste to it, with a hint of sweet malt. Not a whole lot of bitternes to this one. It's crisp and dry. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Rather fizzy, but easy to drink. I will most certainly buy another bottle.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Murky orangish brown. Huge 4 finger or more tan head with great retention. Falls to a persistent cap. Great lacing.

S - Great fruity aroma; plums, raisins, and figs come to mind. A moderate sourish smell pulls through also alongside a big caramel presence. Blending with the sourness is an interesting spice component; somewhat grassy and a little chive-like.

T - Early palate is very spritzy and flavors are scarce. There's a hint of caramel mixed with a moderate phenolic component. Pepper is detectable with a touch of alcohol but overall I'm having a hard time picking this quick flavor apart. As the carbonation subsides, mid palate is full of the overripe fruit from the nose. Loads of plum and raisin, but the sweetness is extremely muted. Instead these flavors come off with a sour edge. Some sweetness hangs around the edges but by late palate a moderate bitterness is kicking with some roasted malt undertones and earthy flavors.

M - Carbonation is on the low end of high with a sturdy medium body. I don't much like the huge carbonation and the taste suffers because of it.

D - A good beer that I'm glad to have finally tried. I certainly would've liked this better with a softer carbonation and perhaps a touch more sweetness, but it's still an easy drinking and pleasant offering from Ommegang.

Photo of jpiper
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4. A nice orange-amber color with a thick white head which loosely laces on the glass.

3.5. Fruity nose: oranges, lemons; with a musty maltiness. Hints of caramel and nuts.

3.5. Thin and fruity: a mild version of the smell, but with more malt. The yeast also comes through with tastes reminiscient of a sweet breakfast bread - no, fruitcake - on the finish. There is a spice layer in this beer as well. Enough hops to balance and carry a little bitterness on the finish. Reasonably well balanced for a US Belgian style with acidity, sweetness, yeasty profile, and hop bitterness.

4. A nice semi-dry finish. Pretty clean, well carbonated.

4. This is very easy drinking and would make a decent session beer. The medium body makes it easy going down. It gets better the further I get into the glass.

A reasonably good Belgian-style from Ommegang. Not a disappointment. But this won't be a beer I'll crave.

http://foodbeertravel.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/rare-vos/

Photo of JayNH
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a clear reddish amber color with a huge lingering foamy head. Leaves an excellent lacing on the glass.

S-Sweet malty and fruity, bananas, pears, and a hint of bubblegum.

T-Sweet, slightly yeasty. Fruity but a touch sour like a pear. Finishes dry and peppery.

M- Medium bodied with lively carbonation.

D- Very smooth and pleasant. I think I'll have another glass...

Photo of matty
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange beer with a slowly fading head that stays at a quarter of an inch.Aroma is fruity and slightly spicy.Taste is an assortment of fruits with black licorice on the back end.I usually don't agree with the majority but in this case I completely agree.Very good and worth every bit of the 4 pack I got for $9.00.Highly recommended and would gladly puirchase again!!

Photo of WalrusJockey
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulips.

Appearance- very nice copper color. Reminds me of blood oranges. Head is near-white, pearly, and rapidly falls.

Smell- oranges and spices are in there, also a very creamy smell of biscuits, also alcohol.

Taste- juicy, ripe, fresh oranges hit the tongue, fading into a slightly bitter, slightly tart hoppy yeasty flavor. The swallow is yeast and oranges, with an aftertaste which is dry, and then metallic, almost like blood or pennies. Hops are noticeable throughout.

Mouthfeel- smooth, fairly creamy, carbonation is well balanced. If anything, a little too light on the mouth for all the flavors present.

Drinkability- very drinkable. The aftertaste leaves a craving for more, while the balance of juicy oranges with pungent spices leaves another glass or two sounding like a good idea.

Photo of theBubba
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy rust-like color in my snifter. The head came on strong but was gone in short time. The moderate lace hung on and lasted to the end. Distinct aroma of pear and clove (sorry, no leather, tobacco, and other such like comparisons the beer cognescenti refer to. We home brewers and winemakers know about esters). The nice carbonation makes for lots of bite but leaves a smooth foamy mouthfeel after each swallow. Hops are just right. You know they exist, but you're not left with the bitterness of Ommegang's Hennipen. All in all, a very nice ale. One I'll drink many times over (as long as I have a job...otherwise I'll be drinking Busch at 4 bucks a six pack). As young Bobby Zimmerman said, "The times they are a changing".

Photo of thekanna
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a thin orange-red that glows in light, almost like the hue on a young fox (hence the name). Huge white head which forms an extremely sticky lace on the glass that just won't go away.

Smell: Floral freshness with the some open-air fruit market scent mixed in. Peaches, pears, apples, starfruit, and an overall pervading fruit sweetness.

Taste: Goes down like a complex tropical fruit/ plum/ nectarine/ jackfruit-flavored italian soda. Hop bitterness is just a suggestion at the end. The alcohol is even less detectable.

Overall: Very good, light, fruity brew. Extremely Drinkable.

Photo of yesyouam
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rare Vos is a murky, peachy brown ale with a large, fizzy, yellowish off-white head that leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is of apple, pear, and pineapple. There are also notes of flowers, grass, coriander, allspice and leather. Sweetness, sourness and tartness are all in the nose. In the mouth, it's on the light side of medium-bodied. It is fizzy on the tongue, smooth and dry all the way down. The flavor starts lightly sweet, acidic, bitter and salty. Apples, peaches, pear and pineapple are very present. It becomes a bit sweeter before the short, dry finish. It leaves an echo of black pepper, diacetyl and oak... like I just drank a Chardonnay. This is so drinkable! It is never overbearing nor boring.
(rated Jul 17, 2007)

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

It pours with a gold tinted off-white beige head. It has an amber body with a little bit of fizz to it but not much. It smells like malt and fruity wine/grape and fig. It tastes a lot like the aroma. It has a strong malt flavor with a very fruity aftertaste. There is mild hops bitterness but not much. It has creamy smooth mouthfeel and it is very drinkable.

Photo of orangemoustache
2.58/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This nice looking bottle pours a dirty rusty brown. It has a thick creamy tan cap that has amazing hang time,well the center has nice hang time,the edges colapse first, leaving a pillar of head jetting out of the center of my snifter. A few large chunks of yeast are swirling around,even on a slow and gentle pour. The nose is beyond understated and smells faintly of dried rasins, bread crust and light spice mixture. Right upfront I get a tangy tartness that is not appealing to me in the least. Light maltiness never comes full circle and seems weak and underpowered. A subtle yeasty fruitness is underlying and is really the best part of this disapointing offering. Ommegang has impressed me over and over,this one just didn't do it. I will try this again, just to see if this was a fluke. A thin mouthfeel and bitter dry finish did this no favors either.

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

This beer poured deep copper with peach and orange highlights and a two-finger off-white head. The smell starts off with some sweet malt that gives way to grain and some fruitiness and spices. The taste starts off with some sweet malt and gives way to a wide array of fruits including dark plums, grapes, and little pineapple and citrus. After that the hops and spices kick in, including some anise and coriander. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with medium carbonation that ends in a little dryness. This is not necessarily the most drinkable beer as far as quantity, but it's definitely one that will make you think about what you're drinking. The taste is constantly shifting, which is perfect for the large bottle I bought it in. A great beer if you can get your hands on it, a testament to the impact Belgium's had on the flavor of beer all over and a good reason to seek out other beers in the style.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4/21/08. On tap at the Colgate Inn. Pours an orange-amber with a small white head. Aroma of Belgian yeast, some light flowery hops. Reminds me of a witte- lots of spices (corriander and anise star)and light citrus fruits. Finish of a buttery roll, kind of salty (but in a good way). A great session. Very drinkable. 7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a slightly hazy, burnt coppery-orange with a humongous sandy colored foamy head that displayed very good retention clinging to the sides of the glass while it pitted in the middle. A thick, clumpy lacing was left behind. Visible carbonation was light and sporadic.

S: The nose yielded sour fruit (pineapple) a funky yeastiness, musky grains, with a light candi-sugar sweetness.

T: The initial flavor started out with a big funky yeasty sourness with sour fruit (pineapple, pears), tart lemons, and light coriander. Some sour green apples, sour caramel, off set by some candi-sugar notes as well spicy alcohol fusels. There was a light wet grain muskiness also detected. The finish finds some sharp, tart lemons and acidity that lingers on with a gentle fade. The yeast truly shines and highlights the flavor of this beer especially on the finish.

M: a fizzy carbonation, was very light, tart, and yeasty.

D: Very good drinkability, yeasty, sour and a very good example all around.

Photo of corby112
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 750 ml. bottle.

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thick foamy white head and large chunks of yeast floating around. Citrus sour aroma of lemon, orange and grapefruit. Sweet citrus flavor that contains a lot of yeast and a touch of maltiness.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass form a 12oz bottle.

A: Tight beige head with an amber to tan body, Particulate floating around, I must have rouged it up a bit before pouring. Lacing is very good.

S: Spicy, peppery, yeasty aromatics.

T: Up front the same flavors as the aroma, but more powerful. Lingering bitterness and banana like yeast flavors at the end.

M: Full, found it to be slightly sticky though.

D: Pretty drinkable, though the finish could be cleaner its not unpleasant.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an light amber color with an off white two finger head with nice retention. Huge bubbly bubbles pop at the top, just luring me to drink this tall sleek sexy amber.

Nice sweet smell hits the nose, like dried fruits, pears, sour grapes, lemon

Nice sweet taste upfront, good amount of carbonation with hint of biterness, left with a slighlty sweet dry finish.

Good amount of carbonation tickles your tounge, smooth, and very refreshing taste.

Low ABV and great taste makes this a good drinkable beer.

Photo of rtepiak
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

amber orange murky with lace. smell is pineapple, apricot, pear. the nose carries over to the palate consistently. the hop is minty and it has a mild apricot sweet to it. straw yeasty and a light grapefruit finish with some buttery yeast malt quality. a well rounded brew. good american example. have had it before and it didn't turn out as good.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulips.

A = Clear copper tinged amber liquid with a yellow off white head consisting of small and medium sized bubbles, decent retention and light lacing.

S = Light scents of white pepper and lemongrass with light hints of sour yeast.

T = Fresh baked lightbrown wheat bread on tip of tongue with lemon at midpalate. Light winter spices show up and blend into a long sweet-sour finish.

M = Medium-light body, good mouthcoating, good level of carbonation with slight sting followed by creamier foam.

D = This is a pleasant, good drinking beer but just a little simpler than I expected.

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle at between cellar and fridge temperature in a Hennepin "tulip" glass.

A - Muddy walnut brown with orange amber highlights. Big, fluffy light sand colored head that subsides slowly. Head retention is excellent. Lacing is respectable.

S - Candy sugar and caramel maltiness, with a slight tartness. Slight hint of graham cracker and soda bread.

T - Subdued sweetness (despite the smell) with a nice hit of prune and fig. A bit of alcohol warmth in the middle that reminds me of a holiday rum ball cookie. Lightly sour and yeastily tart in the back of the throat with a quick wash of hoppiness. Medium dry finish with dark fruitiness and yeast bread in the aftertaste.

M - Lively carbonation to tingle the tongue before turning creamy and sudsy. Diminishes nicely for a full but easy swallow.

D - This has been my go-to Thanksgiving beer for about five years now, and it's never let me -- or anyone else partaking -- down. Well rounded and full-bodied, yet tame enough to act as a sympathetic character, allowing the savory flavors of the meal to shine through. So easy and so delicious.

Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,874 ratings.