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Rare Vos (Amber Ale) - Brewery Ommegang

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

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2,591 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,591
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 105
Gots: 182 | 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: 2,591 | Reviews: 1,076 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SethB2


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay Chalice.

Pours darker than typical Belgian Pales. Medium brown with a nice head and exceptional lacing. Looks very nice. Smells of clove and banana with a little bit of melon mixed in there as well. Taste is very good. I'm getting the typical Beligian fruits, but there is also a tart apple that is very nice. The clove and melons flavors also come through. Mouthfeel is great. It finishes so dry that it leaves you reaching for another glass. Drinkablility is also very good.

This is my first beer from Ommegang, and I am impressed. Looking forward to trying some other offerings.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2006 02:38:31 | More by SethB2
Photo of watermelonman


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a nice deep orange and gold with a medium head. The head shrank to a smaller size and left some minor head.

The smell is pleasant, with hints of candy and citrus on top of malt. The taste brings light fruit, malt, and good yeast flavors all the way through. The mouthfeel is full while drinkability is very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2006 06:36:33 | More by watermelonman
Photo of DaPeculierDane


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My least favorite of Ommegang’s beers but that’s like saying that Last Crusade is my least favorite Indian Jones film. It may be the one I prefer least but it’s still a classic.]

Appearances first: Rare Vos, like most of Ommegang’s brews opens with a thunderous pop capable of sending the cork flying across a large room. As I pour the beer into my glass a bright orange body is revealed and a tremendous fluffy off white cloud froths to the top of the glass. It is just magnificent.

The aroma explodes with yummy apricot biscuits, Belgian yeasts, honey muffins, cherries, grapes, floral hops, and pepper.

Medium body, lively spirit, citrusy and dry. Perfectly balanced. Taste is primarily orange peal wrapped in caramel with a touch of lemon zest and wheat.

Drinkable as any of this fine brewery’s beers. Just a wonderful example of the style. It’s miraculous that this is made in the states.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2006 01:35:13 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Warm, glowing orange-amber with a thin, creamy ivory head. Gentle fruity (pear) aroma with some spicy / bready yeast - a little dry sweetness. Soft, rounded malts mix with peppery fruit esters - slightly phenolic and pretty dry. Fresh, crisp mouthfeel.

A nice dry, mellowed-out Belgian ale. I could probably make a session out of it...

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 00:19:07 | More by wedge
Photo of ggaughan


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice amber color with a good tanish head. The aroma was a nice bouquet of sweet malts. Very enjoyable. The taste is a pleasant hit of malty goodness with a bit of hops but not overpowering. There are also some spices in this one that work well. This medium bodied beer is very pleasant and drinkable in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2006 03:23:24 | More by ggaughan
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Murky amber brown-red color wih a nice dense white head. Great retention and lacing. Smells creamy, of spicey yeast with various fruits and floral hops, and slightly wine-like. Very pleasant aroma. Taste is juicy, sweet and mellow. Relaxing and very nice, almost like candy (but not overly sweet). Very balanced between the malts and candy like hops. Great prolonged slight bitter, dry finish. It kind of makes your mouth implode with the nice dry finish. Lush texured creamy mouth, and goes down like butter.

Awesome Belgium style brew from NY.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2006 04:56:17 | More by tastybeer
Photo of aforbes10


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

what the hell is a belgian amber? well, ok, this is from ommegang so ill give it a try. amber color and a bit cloudy. smells like any other belgium. sour tinges, nice and smooth. clove, malt flavors. very tasty beer. not too hard hitting like some other big bad belgians. quite impressed.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 04:04:40 | More by aforbes10
Photo of shbobdb


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Holy crap! A Belgian-style beer that I like!

It makes me wonder how much candi sugar they used -- this beer lacks the normal paper-thin mouthfeel that I associate with Belgians. Instead, the mouthfeel is merely thin, but satisfying. A near-perfect (could be a tad thicker) mouthfeel in terms of funneling this beer down my gullet.

And the tastes, the smells! Gone are the oppressive yeast flavours I normally think of with Belgians. Oh yes, the yeast make much of the flavour of this brew, but they do so inoffensively. A touch of spice, a touch of fruit, but none of it overbearing. They work *with* rather than in spite of the malts. On top of that, the alcohol doesn't get in the way.

Delicious. I could drink this beer all day long, and I don't often day that about Belgians. And it is reasonable at 6.5% alcohol. None of that 8.5% crap here. Mmmm. Delicious.

If anyone knows of Belgians that are similar to this, feel free to beermail me the good news. You may convert me yet.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2006 23:25:13 | More by shbobdb
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ommegang- Rare Vos

Appearance- ruby red/ brown with a big thick head. Took several minutes until I could pour the rest of the beer into the glass.
Smell- Light fruit (grape and cherry) and a sugary candy malt.
Taste- very weak! Where the hell is the flavor?! The lightest of fruit punch mixed with malt and slight toasted hops.
Mouthfeel- watery and weak.

Overall- This was so weak I could not believe. My wife drank a bottle and couldn't believe the lack of flavor, more like the watered down flavor. Thumbs down until Ommegang bumps the flavor in this 1!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2006 20:32:38 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my oversized wine glass with a strong bubbly head and a nice brown/copper body.

A cherry cough drop aroma to it, some malts and grains there too, not bad.

Flavor: first a sourness like lime, a berry note thoughout, theres grains and a slite bite in the end. Carbonation is apparent. It's very well drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2006 01:50:04 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of kevin62

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Belgian ale poured out a dark golden amber with a good size hrad.The aromas were of hops,malt and citrus,also in the taste.The beer also was yeatsy and rich and all in all a pretty good offering from Ommegang,although I do not believe it's there best.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2006 13:29:35 | More by kevin62
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish orange color with wispy head. I'm not sure it's a Belgian pale ale as BA says. It's more of an amber ale.

The flavor is on the malty side, some hops but not too much. I can't really say that the aroma was very strong. Not a bad thing really, but...

During a recent tour of the brewery I saw that they add some flavors to this near the end of boil. I don't remember which ones (I think coriander is used for the Hennepin, and anise for the Ommegang, but there was also "seeds of paradise" or something peppery).

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2006 19:11:27 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of assurbanipaul


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear caramel color with a solid half-inch head. Aroma is light, sugary and lemony with just a touch of mustiness. A thick layer of sediment left in the bottom of the bottle -- but the beer remains sparkling clear.

Taste is sweet pale malt followed by some light candy sugar. The sugary bits are not overpowering and are tempered with white pepper flavors and a nice yeasty element. Hints of lemon, white grapes, maple syrup and just a touch of pine. With all this sweetness, it still manages to finish dry and with just a memory of hops.

Mouthfeel is very light, very clean. Well done for a Yankee micro, would stand up well to any native Belgian pale. I could definitely session a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2006 02:16:41 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of SkeeterHawk


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy burnt orange color with a small 1/4" head of off white foam. The beer is so cloudy that I can't tell if there are many bubbles rising or not. There is already a little lacing on the glass after the little bitty head fell.

Aroma: Really fruity aroma with a bunch of apples, pears, grapes, and some citrus fruit being the most noticeable. There is some dry and earthy malt in there that may be based on wheat. There is a bit of oxidation as it is apparent that this beer has some age on it.

Taste: It has a really fruity flavor also. I get all of the aforementioned fruits as well as a dry/grainy malt flavor that is as much mouthfeel as it is a flavor. The beer is super dry and attenuated. The carbonation is light, but the dryness caries it across you palate pretty quickly. The finish is dry, but manages to have a bit of sweetness present to linger for a while. The flavors imparted by the age mellow as the beer breathes for a while.

Opinion: Well, this beer has some serious age on it, so it obviously isn't in its prime. The flavor is still really complex, and I would really like to try a really fresh example. I will be trying this beer again for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2006 03:28:07 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of lordofthewiens


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this and Hennepin recently; I prefer this one. It is an amber color with a small white head that remains present. A small amount of lacing. It has a sweet malty odor to it, mostly sweet. There is a very nice fruity taste with some spice and a little hoppiness. It feels very good in the mouth, not too carbonated. A very good beer, quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2006 22:35:46 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of mochunk


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second offering from Ommegang I've had... This is considered a Belgian Pale Ale, or as the bottle describes, a Belgian Amber Ale, the latter being a little more accurate I should say.

Pours from a corked 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip... Careful proper pour lends to a half glass or so of fine dirty copper colored brew with a creme colored gravely head about 1.5-2 inches thick. Dissapating quick enough to the eye, but not fast... Settles to a nice thin head that never dissapears, sparse spotty lacing that stays in place after a few minutes.

Smells of fruits of some kind, a bit of hops, but also a bit of malts, mostly fruits...

Taste of course echoes the nose but the fruits are a bit more apparent, even through the finish. The hops and malts are just about right, the former just barely masking the other. Not balanced but probably better for it. It's pretty dry with a medium carbonated mouthfeel and goes down smooth as glass and finishes dry with just the right amount of belgian aftertaste, only a bit hoppier than usual, but just barely. But pleasantly so.

Second pour I mix it up fully and dump the entire contents in, yeast and all. This seems to further balance it and bring a bit more complexity to it, but still nothing to shake a stick at. But I think that's where it really wins me over here. It's not overly complex. It's completely unoffensive anywhere, which means a great brew that is simply enjoyed, not over-bearing.

For the price, an amazing value, as was the Hennepin I've tasted previously. I'll definitely revisit this one. A good choice for someone wanting to break into Belgians.

This is my first ever public review, I felt compelled on this one, so that must mean something.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2006 05:42:42 | More by mochunk
Photo of beerphilosopher


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Moinette goblet from a 750 ml bottle as a lively orange color with golden accents. Big, rocky head of a cream color. Fantastic retention and much lacing in the inner rim of the goblet. Nose is lively with citrus, spices, white grapes, and fruit salad! Taste profile is pleasingly light, yet very complex and exciting. Citrus offers a lively play on the tongue, encouraged in its performance by a worthy hop presence. Best described as a refreshing taste, leaning toward hops and citrus fruity lightness, with some expression of yeast to add complexity. Alcohol is not assertive. Light-bodies and lively, this is a great beer. Immenently drinkable and "user-friendly." Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2006 17:11:24 | More by beerphilosopher
Photo of beermanbrian


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Light amber to dark golden in color. Nice one finger head in a chimay goblet. Perfect stream of carbonation keeps a thin foamy off white head piled on top. Thick lacing that clings to the glass. First smell I notice is the bready yeastyness. As i sit and enjoy a light fruitiness comes through. Not heavy dark fruits like plums and figs but not light citrusy either.

Taste is hidden at first by the supper active carbonation. The yeast and bread flavors come through though. This is followed by the fruits and here I do note a little citrus, maybe grapefruit. Further down the glass I note some pepper flavors.

Very active in the mouth. Dry, smooth and tingly on the way down. Minimal aftertaste. Nice.

This is the first belgian style I've had from the proper glasswear and it is making a huge differance. I could sit and enjoy one of these every night. What a wonderful pleasant experience. I can't wait to revisit some of the other belgians i've had to see if it's the glass or the beer or maybe a little of each.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2006 01:11:12 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of bearrunner44


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Cloudy amber color. Thin & frothy, cream-colored head.

Smell- Sharp, tangy, black cherry-like aroma. The malt profile is dry, but the bready scent of the yeast takes the edge off it.

Taste & Mouthfeel- Medium-to-full-bodied, with high levels of carbonation. Dry malt flavors up front. The dryness spikes for a moment, then the yeast fades in. Fruity prune elements permeate the beer, and the yeast lends a heavy sourdough flavor. Estery, fruity alcohol flavors add some spice to the finish.

Verdict- An above-average, well-rounded beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2006 02:57:35 | More by bearrunner44
Photo of GreenWBush


3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I can't believe I haven't tried this yet alone reviewed it as Ommegang and Hennepin are beer-fridge staples.

Evacuates the large and attractively printed bottle crackling and noisy. Shaded pumpkin in color, Rare Vos produces a productive head that blossoms beautifully over my tulip glass. Lace appears before the first sip and sticks with a vengence all the way through.

The main thing to consider about this beer is the footprint of the typically overzealous Ommegang house yeast. To me, it tastes equal parts rotten oak and dried flowers with metallic and coppery aromas. Saddle leather. Biscuity. Eartiness and spice I usually enjoy in BPA's seem hidden underneath rotten apples and wicker baskets. Mild hop-prescence akin to squeezed grapes.

The taste is markedly cider-esque and bitey. Astringent over-steeped pekoe tea. Dry as all hell, and like drinking a blanket: cotton. Rotting apple flavor continues until the addition of the yeast which somehow really opens up the sweet malt flavors, which are luscious when you can find them.

Again, overcarbonatingly bitey with orange rings and cracked pepper. Almost puckering dryness aids drinkability.

Not particularly drinkable, I found it hard to consume this 750mL bottle which is strange considering the amazing Hennepin and Ommegang. Interestingly, my wife liked it much more than either of those two options.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2006 17:10:53 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of BillyB

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful bright orange/burnt copper color. Medium white head leaves some nice belgian lace.

Sweet, citrusy aromas such as melon, peach, tangerine. Also biscuity, bready, yeasty aroma.

Taste is more peach/citrusy but slightly spicy. A hint of melon. Tart and sour.

Excellent fizzy, light, carbonic mouthfeel. Almost champagne like.

A combination of belgian golden ales and american ambers. Incredibly drinkable and endlessly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2006 00:13:11 | More by BillyB
Photo of Shaw


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful amber color: It almost glows. It has a lovely foamy white head that settles down to a thin layer of foam.

It smells like a Beligan beer: Fruity and sweet with notes of biscuit and bread.

The flavor is also good. The flavor I'm detecting most is biscuit. It's a bit sour, which is nice.

The mouthfeel is great. The density of tiny bubbles creates a wonderful fizziness that pops in my mouth. The light body compliments the carbonation.

This is a great drinking beer. Its flavors are subtle and don't hit you over the head.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2006 06:26:03 | More by Shaw
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this out of a 12 oz. bottle I got on sale.

Pours out beautifully like all the Ommegang beers do, big eggshell head of meringue, lace sheets the side of the glass, looks as tasty as any Belgian example.

Smell is yeasty, somewhat fruity, with bubblegum hints as well. Major fruit is peach and orange, some apricot, too.

Flavor is predominantly yeasty, not quite as complex as I was hoping for. The fruitiness comes through as well, with the peach flavors again at the fore, but I mostly get the dry, yeasty flavor, which, while nice, is not overwhelmingly complex. Tasty and thirst-quenching no doubt, but not great.

Overall: A good one, but not a great one, probably my least favorite of Ommegang's brews.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2006 03:04:36 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of cooter

New York

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wrote notes while heavily intoxicated. This is the result. Somewhat 19th-century-prose, IMHO--reminds me of Walden.

Head is a delicious, luscious, quivering, throbbing sea of white magma that arches its back, solidifying into a lattice of foam bubbles, once energetic and now firm, bubbles of all shapes and sizes, appearing for all the world like whipped cream or ice cream floating on root beer.

Smells sweet.

Powerful carbonation; it is vibrant, like a million seahorses biting on my tongue. [ed note: why seahorses? why not?]

Full, delicious, spicy, in increasing order of power. Sweet, sugars and hops both. Strong, with a commanding presence, like Captain Picard or Sean Connery. Like a substantial, less saccharine champagne.

It's really a lot like an ice cream float.

[see other review for more cohesion]

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2006 20:22:47 | More by cooter
Photo of dgallina


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep transparent amber with big foamy off-white head and huge lace. Subtle toasted grain, flowery hops, and candy sweetness in the nose. Medium-light and strongly carbonated mouth feel. Yeasty and slightly biscuit-like in initial flavor. Grows into big fruitiness before balancing into a drier lingering bitterness that is slightly medicinal. Flavor slightly more subdued than I would like. Remains a drinkable and well-balanced amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2006 03:06:14 | More by dgallina
Rare Vos (Amber Ale) from Brewery Ommegang
91 out of 100 based on 2,591 ratings.